40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 18 – Prayer

9 Comments

 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

What an awesome set of comments we had again yesterday!   Today Patrick has a question for Libby.  Remember, Libby is not expected to be an expert.  Rather, Libby simply shares from personal and practical experiences.   So, please feel free to chime in even if you have questions yourself.   Also, even if you don’t have the time to share, think about how you have addressed the challenge in your life or how you would address it in the life of a loved one.

Please review the Bible passage above and Patrick’s challenge below and share your thoughts.

 

Dear Libby,

I read the letter from Carla to you yesterday and saw where she defined herself as an “event prayer”.   Well that had me thinking about myself and I ended up defining myself as a “disenchanted prayer”.   I know that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we want Him to, and intellectually, I know that God is not a genie in a bottle.   However, I have a hard time dealing with outcomes that are different from what I pray earnestly for.  For example, when I prayed for a positive outcome for a family member and my family member experienced a bad outcome instead, my faith was shaken

I need to find my way to praying with confidence. What advice can you give?

 

Seeking confidence,

Patrick

 

Today’s Question:

What thoughts would you like to share with Patrick?

9 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 18 – Prayer

  1. Hey Patrick I totally understand your struggle. What has helped me is ensuring that I have the right perspective of who God is. I have come to understand that He is a good Father. He only wants the best for me for my good and for His glory(Romans 8:28). I understand that there are things that I might pray for that I might not see happening at all or as fast as I would like and then there are times I pray and I see Him respond quickly. I am reminded that He is sovereign and all He desires is my good. It’s not easy because sometimes I get discouraged but then I remember that He is a good Father and I feel comforted because I believe he wants the best for me because the truth is I’ve seen there were times when I thought I knew what was the best for me but I was totally wrong. Even when I pray for others I see how I could be so totally wrong with what I think they need. So Patrick I would encourage you to continue to press on and make your petitions known because you have a good Father who loves and cares for you so much that He sees things ahead that you cannot and you need to trust Him because you know He is faithful. To encourage myself at times I reflect on situations where He answered my prayer and this encourages me to pray and press on. Oh and Patrick please ensure that you pray for others as well and not only about your wants (James 4:3) This helps me a lot because it helps me to take the focus off of me and put the focus on God and others.

    In His love,
    Libby

  2. Dear Patrick,

    I too have been in your position, wondering why God didn’t answer my prayer in the way I wanted it. I even tried bargaining with God….if You do this I will do this. It didn’t work! Then in a bible study of the Lord’s Prayer there were the words, Thy Will Be Done. His will, not mine. Took me a while to fully grasp the enormity of those four words.

    As Christians we wrongly believe that once we go to Him with a clean heart He will do all we ask and we forget that He is sovereign and already knows the outcome. This reality took me years to accept especially after a particular trying time in my life. I was angry that He didn’t do as I asked, begged, pleaded. Then it was finally revealed (many years later) why He didn’t allow it to happen the way I wanted. God had great plans for my life that didn’t include what I thought I wanted at the time.

    We must remember that we have a myopic view. All God wants us to do is to make our petitions known to Him. I think it’s a way of us acknowledging and knowing what He can do. When you pray, lay your petition before His throne but still ask that His sovereign Will be mainfested as He intends.

    Hope this helps.

    Libby

  3. Dear Patrick
    This is a hard one for me too. It prompted me to start journaling for a while and it was helpful. My entries were more like prayer request mixed in with my thoughts. After a few years I went back to look through the entries. For several of my most earnest requests I was thankful God had not answered them in the way and timing I had requested.
    Now, when my earnest prayers aren’t being answered I try to remember that God has a broader perspective than I do and ask Him to help me to trust and wait for Him. It’s hard to pray not my will but thy will be done, but that’s the best way.

  4. D ear Patrick
    The scripture encourages us to come daily before our God with our requests. The word also instructs us to come boldly before the Throne of God, without doubting, and in thanksgiving. We are also encouraged to be persistent in prayer.
    We struggle when the answer is long in coming or does not work out the way we wanted it. However as we commune daily with God He may sometimes cause us to alter our prayer but He will give us His Peace in the situation that His will be done. We may not immediately understand the outcome He chooses. Sometimes in retrospect we may understand it better.
    knowing that without Faith it is impossible to please God and that He is our loving Father, when we leave the outcome to Him, in return he gives us His Peace which passes all understanding.

    When we adopt this posture in prayer we can leave the answer to God in prayer, knowing that He is All knowing All powerful and that He will work it out giving us the best possible outcome for us and others in the situation and for His Glory

  5. That seems to be most peoples’ reason for not having Faith. Will read the comments.
    I need some answers too but as time goes on and I really learn to understand what Faith is I realize that there is no ” quick fix”.

  6. This is hard for me, too. When I pray now, I ask God for patience and peace to not only understand His answer, but also to understand His timing.

  7. Dear Patrick,

    I find that knowledge of who GOD is and what GOD’s word says about HIMSELF helps restore trust in HIM when circumstances cause me to question HIS ability or willingness to answer prayer.

    I too have tasted the bitter disappointment of (seemingly) unanswered prayer concerning a family member. My faith was severely shaken (and I am still processing it). I couldn’t understand how GOD could let things get so bad when I pleaded with him to fix things. Then I made myself look back on prayers that were answered and make an honest assessment of the GOD I believed in. Based on my experience, I couldn’t deny answered pray so I had to have a more intelligent response. I admitted that the same GOD that came thru for me on several occasions in the past must have a reason for not coming thru the way I expected . For the fist time I understood why people lose their faith. So I made a quick decision to trust GOD even though I did not understand why because my faith is all I have – the crucible of disappointment is where you learn to REALLY trust GOD. It is easy to trust GOD when you get the outcomes you desire but this is not what scripture tells us about the way GOD develops His children. He is always very honest about Himself and tells believers what to expect in the world.

    James 1:2-3 tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Jesus also says in John 16:33 “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    Therefore Christians should expect to face various trials and afflictions to test our faith so we will PERSEVERE and we find out rest in HIM.

    So what can we say about unanswered prayer. Jesus was always honest and told the truth. He said in John 14:13 “…And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” GOD’s children can ask anything of HIM and HE will do whatever we ask in HIS name; but we cannot get something from GOD that is not in HIS will for us. So too with our own children – they can ask us for anything their little hearts desire and we accede to their requests according to our own judgment. Sweet Jesus who knows everything about the Father because He and HIM are One taught us to pray “… Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven….”

    The Bible spurs us on to have confidence in answered pray as HE gives us clear direction that HE is committed to answering prayer. Therefore this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (1 John 5:14) Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

    Take GOD at HIS Word my friend. Ask GOD for everything you desire with the following guidelines for asking:
    – Ask according to HIS known will. HIS known will is found in scripture
    – Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit when you pray for the Spirit knows the mind of GOD. (Romans 8:26)

    Yours in Christ.
    Libby

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