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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Inspired by . . . {un} answered prayer

The snow-on-the-mountain bobbed in the late summer breeze, beckoning me to come over and savor their glory. 

Looking down, I was surprised to see that they were growing out of the dry, cracked earth. Large 2-inch fissures wound their way beneath the sparse grasses. The side yard lay in stark contrast to the lush St Augustine grass adorning the front yard. Grass we had faithfully watered through the last two months of drought.

Blessed and prospering. Scorned and dying.

My friend's son was recently in ICU for eighteen days. When he first went into the hospital she asked for prayer. 

We prayed. 

God answered. 

He's not out of the woods yet, but yesterday they moved him out of ICU. Prayers for healing, strength, patience, comfort and a myriad of other things for him and my friend - answered. PTL!

But we all know that God does not always answer our prayers the way we would wish. Sometimes He says, not yet. Sometimes just plain, no. And sometimes, like Jonah, God asks us to do things we simply do not want to do. To go places and into situations, we don't want to face.

These answers and challenges can test our faith and our trust in God. 

It's important to remember that, as Believers, our transformation is not yet complete.

When we receive Christ as our Savior we are immediately justified. And, too, we have a change of identity. We are now in Christ Jesus. But the process of sanctification has only just begun. And it is a life-long process. Every trial and experience that comes into our life are used by God to shape us into His image. 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Co 5:17)
When I'm tempted to feel cynical, hurt or self-pity over my unanswered prayer, I remember another prayer that wasn't answered and fall to my knees in humility and praise.
And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done." (Luk 22:41-42)
Who am I to say how my situation should end? It may be happening to me, but what if it's not really about me at all? Only God knows the truth of all things. He promises our good. Do we believe Him?
And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Php 1:6)
I've learned to pray as Jesus did; stating my need and requesting that His will be done. But it's not enough to say the words. My heart needs to be in line with my spoken request. 

Honestly, I'm not always ready to accept His will.  So what do I do then? I keep praying, asking Him to change my heart until I am.

Remember, He is in the process of transforming us. Day by day, He making us more like His Son.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2Co 3:18)
When we pray, asking for His will, the Holy Spirit works within us to bring our desires in line with the will of God. 

We've had a week of much-needed rain. The snow-on-the-mountain is bowing low, heavy with thanks. The fissures are gone, reduced to mere squiggle lines running along the ground.

Prayers answered for some, prayers denied for others.
A constant example of God's sovereign will.

How have you witnessed God's sovereignty
in your prayer life?


Sharing inspiration here:
Small WondersTestimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June