WHEN PRAYERS SEEM NOT TO BE ANSWERED

He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Matthew 26:44

In the black-and-white 1950s, one of the most engaging shows on television was Father Knows Best. Despite the perils of raising a son and two daughters, the wise father always seemed to have a solution. In the realm of prayer, this principle is at work: our heavenly Father knows best.

When your petitions are mercifully granted—healing for a sick spouse, extra income for a pressing need, a promotion at work—you worship and thank God for His goodness.

When your requests are not granted—a sick mate does not improve, the financial need remains unmet, you are passed over for that promotion—you still worship and thank God for His goodness.

In the first instance that is easy. In the second that is extremely difficult, and you may think, Why doesn’t God come through? What is He trying to do to me? Doesn’t He care? your view of God is fogged by the confusion over prayer’s primary purpose. Prayer is trusting God to do what He knows is best for your life, not just in the short run but also in the long run. The character of God is the anchor for prayer. He loves you. He always works for your best. You can always trust Him.

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