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Prayer Is Not Just Wishful Thinking

Think back to when you were a kid. Did you ever ask your parents for something you knew they would say no to, but you asked anyway, just in case? It was probably wishful thinking on your part.

Do you pray believing that God has the power to answer your prayers? Do you believe that He will answer them? Or do you pray the same way you asked your parents, you know, wishful thinking, just hoping God hears you?

The Bible tells us that God is big enough to quiet the storms and calm the seas. Psalm 107:29 says this – “He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.” We also read this in Mark 4:39 – “He (Jesus) got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

The Bible also tells us that our great big God, the God big enough to control the wind and the seas, also knows you by name – “The gatekeeper opens the gate for his sheep, and the sheep listen for his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (Jn 10:3).” And even when you feel so small and insignificant, God sees you. Hagar, the unmarried pregnant maidservant, scared and alone in the desert, said this – “You are the God who sees me (Gen 16:13).”

So when you pray, pray like you mean it. Pray will an expectancy that God will hear you and respond. Does He always respond in the way we expect? Does He grant our every wish? The answer to both questions is no. Sometimes God comes in disguise and we miss him because we are looking for something different. Sometimes we tell God how we want Him to answer and when he answers in a completely different way, we totally miss it. Sometimes we expect God to come loudly but He comes as a gentle whisper. (Read 1 Kings 19:1-18.) Sometimes God says to us “Yes,” other times, “Not yet,” and even this, “I have something better in mind.”

When we ask God to answer, sometimes His seemingly “unanswered prayer” is in fact an answer. Even secular music occasionally gets it right. Here are lyrics in the Garth Brooks song “Unanswered Prayers” –

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs That just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered Some of God’s greatest gifts are all too often unanswered, Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

But be confident that God does always answer your prayer in some fashion or another, so when you pray, do so with boldness and in expectancy – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do (James 1:5-8, NLT).”

When you go to God, He always shows up!

Dave Garrett

New Bern, North Carolina

7/21/2017

 

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