Tag Archive | persevering

When The Answer Is, “No”

Hello beloved readers!  I’m so happy and be grateful to God finally I have much time to write a post again. This time I will talk about (once again) waiting for God’s answer of our prayer. I deliberately chose this topic because honestly, I and my husband are continuing to pray earnestly and are waiting for God’s answer. We have been praying more than a year for our second child and we are keep praying until now.

It must be admitted that waiting for God’s answer often become a big problem and give a serious impact for us as believers. I have a friend who changed drastically to be very hateful to God. He felt God didn’t love him and never cared about all prayers he had sincerely offered. He prayed faithfully that we wanted to get married with his spouse. While he prays continuously, he made his wedding preparation. However, unfortunately, suddenly, something tragic happened. His future wife had a very bad accident, suffered severe injuries, and sadly, finally died. Since then, he really hated God.

Another story, there was a faithful mother who had been praying for 28 years for her son who became a drug addict and was in and out of jail. The days and years dragged on without any good changed in her son’s life. But one day, 28 years after his mother first prayed for her something happened incredibly! Terry Williams, her son finally repented, accepted Jesus as his savior, and changed his life drastically. God finally answered His mother prayer.

My beloved friends, based on philosophical truth, God always hear and answers our prayers and there are three forms of God’s answers; “Yes”, “No”, and “wait” But empirically, not all of our requests that conveyed through prayer will be granted by God. The question is why does God answer some of our prayers and doesn’t grant our other prayers? Well, once again, based on my own experience in praying, there are two reasons. Let’s take a look together.

Internal reason

Internal reason are reasons that come from the inside of ourselves. In the other words, there’s something inside us that makes God not willing to answer of fulfill our prayers. There’s something wrong in use and our prayers. Let’s take a look to James 4:2-3

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

From the verses above, we know that there are two causes so we don’t get anything. First, we aren’t asking God (Praying), and the second is there is wrong motive behind our prayer. I will not discuss the first cause because I strongly believe every believer will always pray. I will focus on the second cause. It must be admitted that as Christian sometimes there are wrong things behind our prayer. I noted some of mistakes we often made in our prayers and this is what blocks the answer of our prayers. Let’s see together.

The Nature of prayer

When we pray ask something to God, have we thought about the basic of our request? Are our requests based on needs or wants? I give example of prayer based on need. In Our Father’s prayer, we say, “Give us our daily bread” This an example of need. There’s no one in this world doesn’t need bread. But if we pray, “Dear God, I want to have one more house with a bigger swimming pool” This not needs but wants! In fact, there’s a very essential difference between what we need and what we want. What we need must be what we want, but what we want is not necessarily we need. Needs are urgent, whereas wants is not. My dear friends, this is what makes God doesn’t want to answer our prayer and without us knowing, often the prayer we pray is dominated by wants rather than needs. God promises that He will answer our prayers, but the problem is whether what we ask for is our need or is it just a want? If our prayers haven’t been answered for a long time, let’s re-examine the nature of our prayer.

The prayer addresses/motivation

When we pray Our Father, we always said, “Our Father in Heaven” This means our prayer addressed to “Father in Heaven” And that is the right address. But wait! The problem isn’t what we say but what is your motivation when we pray. I give a small illustration. There’s a grandmother who getting senile and deaf. She promises to buy her grandson a bicycle. After a long wait, the grandson finally prayed (with a loud voice), “Father in heaven bless my food, and also please remind my grandmother of her promise to give me a bicycle” His mother when heard her son’s prayer then said, “Son, why you pray so loud? God is not deaf” then her son said, “Yes, mom. God is not deaf but grandma is deaf and senile” This illustration shows that sometimes the target or address our prayer isn’t to the Father in Heaven but to others. This illustration shows that sometimes the purpose of our prayer isn’t to the Father in heaven but to others. Sometimes our mouths say, “Father in Heaven…” but actually motivation of our heart is to insinuate, rebuke others or announce something.

My dear friends, the right prayer is a prayer submitted to the right address. Addressed to Father in Heaven from the deepest of our heart without wrong motivation. So, don’t be surprised if God doesn’t answer our prayer.  Have we address our prayer to the right address? Have we prayed with the right motivation?

The prayer times

Another reason why God doesn’t answer our prayer is about time. Time that I mean isn’t time like morning or evening but we pray for things at the wrong time or not at right time to pray for. Okay let me give an illustration like this; A ten years old beautiful girl prayed that God would give her a handsome boyfriend. Well, this’s a wrong prayer because it’s not the right time for a ten-year-old little girl thinking about dating. In this case doesn’t mean God isn’t able to give the little girl a boyfriend but God doesn’t want to give because the time isn’t right.

Another reason that is still related with time is, we often want God answer our prayer quickly. We forget that God has His own agenda and time. God’s time isn’t our time. In Isaiah 55:8 clearly God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”

My beloved friends, if until know God doesn’t answer our prayers, let’s correct our prayers. Is there something wrong in our prayer? Is what we ask for through prayer already at the right time? Or we expect God answer our prayer as soon as possible?

Readers, the nature of prayer, the prayer addresses, and the prayer times are internal reasons why God doesn’t or hasn’t answered our prayers. Beside the internal reasons, there’s external reason that causes our prayer aren’t answered. This external reason comes from God Himself. What does it mean? It means God has His own reason to not answer our prayers. Let’s see together.

Faith test.

sometimes God is testing the strength of our faith, perseverance, and our sincerity to ask something to Him. Let’s take a look to the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. A Canaanite woman came to Jesus and begging Jesus to heal her possessed daughter (Verse 22) What was Jesus’ reaction at the time? Jesus didn’t answer a word and His disciples urged Jesus to send the woman away. At that time, didn’t mean Jesus didn’t want to help the woman but he was testing her faith and sincerity. Even when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lose sheep of Israel(Verse 24) and said that “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (verse 26) this woman did not take offense and leave but she justified Jesus’ words by saying, “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Finally, because of her sincerity, faith, and perseverance, Jesus helped the woman and said, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Verse 28)

My dear friends, sometimes this kind of experience is what we experience in our prayers. We may have prayed and God just kept quiet. It seems that He doesn’t care about our prayers at all, but actually He is giving us a test of faith, perseverance and sincerity. God wants to see are we still ask to Him with full of faith, sincerity, and without despair even though it seems God doesn’t hear our prayers.

Train our maturity

Another reason that God doesn’t answer our prayers or He answer our prayer but need a very long period is because He wants to treat us as grown up in faith. God wants to train our faith to be more mature. Furthermore, by not answering our prayers, we learn that in prayer isn’t not our will that happen but God’s will that happen. God will be done, not our will be done. Isn’t God who must follow us but we must follow Him.

My dear beloved readers, I will close this post by inviting all of us to once again reflect our life prayer. Let’s see if there is something wrong in the prayer we pray. Whether there are certain things in our prayers that become an obstacle so God will not answer our prayer. Also, let’s bear in our heart and mind that God has his own reason why he doesn’t answer our prayer. When the answer is, “No” Please don’t be disappointed and discouraged, don’t think that God doesn’t love and care to us, don’t hate and leave Him. When God doesn’t answer our prayer, I encourage all of us to remember that God has a plan to give more beautiful than we ask and He will give according to His will and plan as He said,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Amen!

 

Karina Lam – Living by faith

Image source: ibelieve.com

Persistent All The Time

Proverb 8 17 - Karina's Thought - Sue Nash

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Proverb 8:17

This post was inspired by blog post from my dear sweet sister in Christ Sue Nash who wrote a beautiful poem based on Proverb 8:17 “Before the sunrise – I will seek you “ But I am not truly wrote this post based on her poem. This is just another thought of its verse.

When my mother asked what one of the keys to success in business, my mother replied,” Persistence! Many successful entrepreneurs in the world besides they have a good vision and mission, great business strategies, they also have the perseverance in running the business. However, unfortunately, many of them also fail in their business just because they are not persistent and easy to give up. They are just as excited and determined at the beginning of building a business. Once they are confronted by many problems and obstacles, they did not perseveringly confront all of that.”

I am contemplating on my mother’s statement. I am thinking about the Christians’ life. Many Christians in the early days following the Lord seemed so eager and passionate in the Lord. But as time goes by, their spirit began to fade. Previously they are so diligently serve God but are now beginning to slack. Who previously so diligently take meditating every day, now already much been absent. When they are facing so many problems and trials, they are not persisted but instead they began to slack off. They still have the misconception that being a follower of Christ will be free from problems. Actually, God does not want this thing happens in our spiritual lives

The Holy Bible advises to us, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11) We have lost our first love for the Lord as happened in the Ephesians’ church.”… You have forsaken the love you had at first.”(Revelation 2:4) Without perseverance, anything we do will never bring maximum results.

Persevering is a strong determination (unwavering) to be serious in doing any task. Persevering also means focused, consistent and not easily give up on what we’re doing. The Bible noted: You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Hebrews 10:36) Only the people who always are persevere will bear fruit and enjoy the rewards. Luke 8:15 said, But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

We all really longs that the promises of God fulfilled in our lives, but it would be difficult to be realized if we do not have perseverance. Perseverance in prayer and in doing that all God wants in our lives. So persistence is the most important element to get the success. Especially in this era, almost everyone wants everything instantly. Want to get success quickly, but do not want to work hard, want to succeed, but do not want to strive.

How persistence can be formed? James said, “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.” (James 1: 2-3)  Through testing we can learn to persevere. That is why sometimes God allows problems happen in our lives in order that we have the perseverance. Persistence also can be formed through the practice. Persistence that does not happen in an instant but needs to be trained from the small matters. How we can persevere in the face of big problems, if we are not persistent facing a small problem.

My dear lovely readers, how about us? How big our persistence? Do we want to be successful in all aspects of our lives? Start by seeking God’s wisdom perseveringly. Ponder the God’s word every day, do it and obey. For whoever finds wisdom, get a life and God will deign to us. “For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord.” (Proverb 8:35) Have we meditate and do the word of God with persistent so that we get the blessing and His love?

O Lord, teach us to persevere love and obey Your word in life and our lives. Amen

“If we endure we will also reign with him…..” 2 Timothy 2:12

Karina

Photo by Sue Nash   http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com/