I have a confession. Iíve been struggling with an unanswered prayer. This prayer is deeply personal and emotional. I wrestle with it daily and sometimes wonder whether God is tired of hearing it. In quiet moments, as I contemplate the need and the circumstances surrounding it, Iím often brought to tears.
Trusting God, and remembering he has plans for meówants only good for me (Jeremiah 29:11,) doesnít always alleviate the pain. Iím left wondering why he hasnít answered. Iím left with the possibility that he has answered, but hasnít answered in a way I would have liked.
A.W.Tozer, in the book Prayer, compiled by W.L.Seaver, says ďwe should inquire who is doing the prayingóour determined hearts or the Holy Spirit.Ē He says our own desires can lead us to prayers that are as carnal as any other act. Effective prayer comes from the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27)
I wonder am I wrestling in prayer, to obtain an answer using my own strength and determination? Am I looking for only one answerómy own way and in my own timing? Carnal prayer.
- Iíll remind myself, while I feel alone in the prayer, Iím not. The Holy Spirit is closer than my breath. Jesus Christ promised to be with me always.
- Iíll remember Psalm 55:22 and give my burden to the Lord. He promises, when I trust him, heíll never let me slip or fall.
- Iíll remember the Lord looks for humility. Iíll give him charge of my life, as it is right now, in this place.
James 4:10 ESV ďHumble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.Ē
- Iíll remember the times I have seen his answers to prayer. Iíll remember the time I would have settled for less than the abundant blessing he had in store.
- More importantly, Iíll remember I am safe in his hands.
I watched a movie recently where a supposedly wise pastor advised a woman, ďGod never gives you more than you can handle.Ē (Note: Donít look to movies for spiritual wisdom.)
That pastorís advice wasnít true. God does give us more than we can handle. How else would we learn to depend on him? (Psalm 121:2) The truth is God doesnít give us more than he can handle. Then, when the solution comes, the glory goes to its rightful owner.
Prayer, by A.W.Tozer is available at Amazon.com
Prayer: Communing with God in Everything--Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer