Some prayers are immediately answered. Those are the ones we forget about pretty easily. How many of you have ever prayed for a good parking spot, got one, and never counted that an answered prayer.
Being thankful and acknowledging that to God builds our spiritual muscle.
Sometimes we pray about things and don’t see immediate results because God is setting things into motion. Changing people’s hearts, making paths, bringing you your perfect girlfriend, all take time. God is about the process, the journey, the end result. So sometimes Gods reply is…be patient. Just wait. I’m hearing you.
Exercising our spiritual muscle in this case, means being spiritually active in the waiting (like Colleen talked about).
Sometimes prayer can be actually be a religious form of rebellion. While trying so hard to get clarity from God, we actually avoid what God has made clear. For example, God desires for us to respond in conflicts with others with love, forgiveness and grace. The instructions are clear, yet we often claim we need to pray about how to handle someone we just had conflict with.
There are some things that we just don’t need to pray about. Its not as we’re going to change God’s mind about things He has spoken about his character. If he has commanded us in His word, there is nothing to pray about –just obey.
We don’t need to pray about whether to love, we have to love. We don’t need to pray about whether to forgive, we have to forgive. We don’t need to pray about being in community or confessing our faith. Neither do we need to pray about where we should be arrogant or humble, takers or givers, indulgers or servers.
In the scripture, Saul was praying when he should have been obeying. Is it possible that we commit the same sin? Are we using prayer as a way of resisting God’s will rather than as a way of accessing God’s will?
Exercise your spiritual muscle while you’re waiting, don’t use praying about it, as a cop out to obey.
Sometimes God says No. or Wait. We will look back and thank God sometimes he didn’t give us what we were praying for. He is the Father in heaven and He knows best what we need.