I have a battered notebook that has been with me for so long that four of its pages date back to the birth of each of my sons. It is in this notebook that I write down the requests – big and small — that I bring to God.
Should our family take the adventure of a cross-country trip in a mini-van?
Who gets my vote this time?
Lord, help our church family to find a shepherd.
Certainly, my notebook is a record of God’s faithfulness, but even after all these years, I don’t pretend to understand the pattern of scattered checkmarks – or the replies from God that they denote – for the notebook also chronicles my uneasy relationship with prayer.
At some point, it’s bound to happen to everyone who believingly follows the One who said “when you pray”: the bubble of predictability is pricked and horror comes rushing in regardless of prayers to the contrary. My notebook speaks into this tension.
- Fervent prayer for a missionary friend with cancer – dead six weeks from diagnosis.
- Focused supplication for a marriage to survive . . . and another . . . and another. All have dissolved, and are barely a memory now.
Even the Apostle Paul with his inside track to the third heaven never claimed to understand the ways of God.
Instead, he said, “I know whom I have believed,” (II Tim. 1:12).
Therefore, he took grace — and the power of Christ — as glorious consolation prizes that came instead of the healing for which he prayed three times, (II Cor. 12:8,9).
What has been your experience with prayer — especially when God says no? This tiny confession of mine is part of a month-long theme over at SheLoves Magazine, so I’m hoping that you will join me over there to read the remainder of the story — and, hopefully, to be encouraged to persevere in your prayer life.
And while you’re there, do take a moment to visit the thoughts and shared wisdom of so many others!
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