Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Waiting ... Waiting ... Nothing!


Many of us often pray. Sometimes, our prayers are prayers of thanks to the Lord, but, if we're honest, more often than not we pray because we're asking God for something. We may be asking God to help us find a job, get a promotion at work, better health, a good and happy marriage or whatever else we consider to be our need, or indeed our entitlement. Yes, I repeat ... our entitlement. Because many of us believe we're entitled to things just because we consider ourselves to be good. Life really isn't like that.

Many of us pray for something and in our heart we are really saying: "Come on God! You know I love you. I go to Church every now and then, and deep inside I am really good. Why don't you let me have ... (whatever we want at the time)".

As every parent knows, when children go on and on pesterring for something or other eventually, because we love them, we may well give way and answer their demands.

In fact, Jesus reminds us of this when He mentions the widow who kept pestering the judge day in day out until eventually he gave way and gave her what she wanted. (Luke Chapter 18). In this parable Jesus teaches us not to be discouraged and to continue praying to God our Father for our needs.

But what happens when we pray and wait, and wait and nothing happens? We pray for days, months, sometimes for years for something to happen to improve our lot and God does not seem to listen or answer. We don't know why. Perhaps He is busy with more urgent and pressing demands from someone else. Perhaps our demands are not such a high priority in His ever increasing in-tray. But as far as we're concerned He is not answering; and to be quite honest, we are running out of patience.

What then? When we wait and wait and nothing happens?

Is it OK to get angry with God? To stamp our foot on the ground like a spoilt child and go into tantrums throwing our toys out of the pram in protest?

I believe it is OK to be angry with God. It will not get us very far; but it is still OK.

God can take our anger. He did after all take all our anger when hanging there on the Cross. So a bit of stamping on the ground won't hurt Him that much.

But like any loving parent He will consider our demands, and if it is good for us, He will in His time and in His way respond.

Remember that God can see not only our past but our future too, and sometimes what we're asking for is not exactly what we should have. What is good for us in the long run.

So what should we really do when our prayers are seemingly un-answered. From experience, I believe we should continue praying and have patience. And then some more patience. We really need to trust Him that He knows best. Even if trust itself is stretched to the point of disbelief, we should continue to trust Him. Through gritted teeth even. Continue to trust Him just as a child trust his parents without questioning.

Difficult? Sure it is. But not impossible. I have known people whose life and whose lot has changed from bad to worse over and again. But they never gave up. They continued to trust Him.

And that's the road to Sainthood.

Saints are sinners like you and me; but they never gave up trusting Him.

18 comments:

  1. Oh Victor. You have no idea how much this blesses me today. We are going through some really difficult challenges here. Thank you so very much for this encouragement and for the beautiful hymns:) God bless!
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: So you know about my tantrums and stomping of the feet, do you? LOL

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    1. Hello Aimee,

      I am praying for you and yours that God may be with you at this difficult time.

      God bless.

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    2. So sorry for my late reply Michael, but sometimes my silly little smartphone doesn't cooperate:) THANK you so very, very much for your prayers and kindness!
      Blessings,
      Aimee

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  2. I found myself here by chance? Providence? What's the difference? What we call 'chance' is our acknowledgement of our often momentary ignorance of His deep Paternal presence in our every breath. So My God brought me here. I thank him immensely. Whenever I begin to think I am always asking, I recall that he told me to 'ask', seek, 'knock'; and to pray without ceasing. Then the Holy Spirit supplies for my deficiencies (Rom 8:26).
    May all our prayer begin and end in him, and may we be guided to perfect surrender to his Will. Like St Padre Pio advised "Pray. Hope. And do not Worry". Jesus I ask you to make me Holy...you can keep all the other gifts. Amen.

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    1. Hello Evelyn,

      How great it is that God led you to this post on this Blog. You are welcome here. We look forwards to your many returns and comments.

      As you rightly say, we should continue to pray and hope, and have no worries of the future.

      God bless you.

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  3. Thank you Victor. No doubt I am His biggest whiner (my husband always says: want a little cheese with that whine .... ha ha). Another wonderful lesson that sends me to the Bible that my life may please Him.
    And thank you for the prayers about my 'issue'. Your kindness is appreciated.
    Hope your day is blessed. ~:)

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    1. We all tend to whine from time to time, Sparky. Especially if it's something involving health. But God does listen, and often responds.

      Praying for you always.

      God bless.

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  4. I read recently a quote--I believe from CS Lewis, and I paraphrase, If it's worth having --it's worth asking for over and over. So, I continue to pray--and asking for Him to take this cup---and show me His will. And yes our Strong & Mighty God can handle our shaking our fist at Him.
    Great Post, Friend!
    Blessings!

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    1. You're so right Lulu. We're not told what that widow kept asking the judge, but it must have been important to her to keep going on about it. So yes, we should ask again and again for the same thing. As long as it is for our good, and that's important in itself, as long as it is for our good, (and that of others) God will eventually respond. I know He has often in my case.

      Praying for you. God bless.

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  5. Hi Victor! I love that you pointed out how we become saints, by being patient and trusting. Two very hard things to do.
    When I feel like my prayers are not being answered, I can't say that I get mad. I do ask 'why' a lot. But as I explained in a recent post, it's not a good question. I'm trying to ask: What are you saying to me? What do you want me to do? It bypasses the 'why' and the anger and gets me into a faithful, action mode. It works better for me.
    Happy Wednesday!
    Ceil

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    1. I agree Ceil. We tend to ask "Why? when God doesn't respond as quickly as we wish. I know I do.

      But despite all my "Why's" I keep asking and hoping; even though at times Faith and Trust are stretched to extremes.

      Praying for you Ceil. God bless.

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  6. Awesome message you shared here, Victor! GOD bless you, my friend! :-)

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    1. Thank you Tai. You're very kind.

      Praying for you.

      God bless.

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  7. I think the trusting and having faith part keeps us from taking over God's job. Otherwise, what's the point in praying and waiting for Him to answer prayers? It becomes a box-checking exercise and label, not a thing of obedience.

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    1. Good point Kim. Good point.

      Praying for you.

      God bless.

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  8. Victor - great post as usual. When I pray for something and do not receive it (the way I think I should, anyway), I always tell myself that God must have a reason. There must be a bigger picture that I can't see. But He knows best.

    While this doesn't make it any easier, it does give me some comfort.

    God Bless you.

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    1. I agree Michael, and I am perhaps the same. But I am so impatient and often ask myself why He is not answering my prayers.

      God bless you Michael.

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