Are you sure you want replies to your prayers?

Some prayers don’t need answers, because not all prayers are asking God for something but that doesn’t mean they’re not acknowledged in some way. A prayer might be informing or praising, perhaps thanking or maybe talking with God is a way of clearing your thoughts. Just knowing He’s listening is often enough of an answer in itself.

Some prayers do need answers, and when God hears your prayer he knows if you need to be given an answer or whether you can find it for yourself. He knows too when you already know the answer yourself, but it’s perhaps an answer you don’t want to know, or don’t think you have the strength, or courage for. If this is the case, God won’t give you an answer you already know but he might say ‘you know this, why are you asking me?’ so are you asking Him for the right thing? Should you be asking him not for the answer but for the strength to do what you already know you need to do. Maybe you need to do something you don’t want to do, maybe it’ll push you out of your ‘comfort zone’. You might have to make some effort yourself.

When you really do need a prayer answered God will answer, but don’t expect it to be an easy answer and don’t think that just because you can’t see the answer, one hasn’t been given. God doesn’t want us to be passive the whole time, He wants us to think, and act for ourselves and this is equally true in prayer. He rarely just tells us the answer, even when it is exactly what we want or expect it to be. Often he will give us the means to find, or work out the answer for ourselves, without handing it to us on a plate, so we will still need to make an effort.

We need to be observant to know when an answer has been given and, usually, attentive and thoughtful to understand it. We need to be prepared for unpalatable and uncomfortable answers that we might not want to hear. We must be ready for partial answers that demand us to make an effort to work out the complete answer. We need to be ready for an answer to come from an unexpected source or person, or be given in an unexpected manner.

So are prayers always answered? Yes I think they probably are. The answer might just be, ‘Yes I noticed.’ It might be ‘Thanks for letting me know’ or maybe it would be ‘well here’s a start, now you go work the rest out.’ It might be ‘What are you asking me for, you know what you have to do,so go and do it’. Sometimes it will be ‘I’ll help you out here but I’m not going to do it for you, I’ll give you the strength but you must have the will.’

Just because you can’t see the answer to your prayer, don’t assume it hasn’t been answered.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
― Meister Eckhart


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