Hello beautiful people, I hope you are doing well in the midst of all the chaos that we have been faced with over the last couple of weeks. With everything that is going on, I feel that we all could use some encouragement, some motivation, and maybe even answers to some of our questions. I am going to attempt to provide all three of the aforementioned needs that you may have. Today, I’d like to talk about why we may not be receiving what we pray for. For those of you who do not know me (I’m sure it is all or most of you), I believe that God is in the center of everything that we go through, so I will be giving 3 faith-based reasons for our desires not being met.
You may not be getting what you are praying for because it simply does not align with God’s will for your life.
I always stress that it is extremely important for everyone to know what their calling and their purpose are, and to do that, you need to have a relationship with God, our Creator. Once you know these two basic things, you will know how to pray and what to pray for because essentially, you will know what is in God’s will for your life. You may be praying for something that is good, but still, it may not be in God’s will for your individual path.
Prime example: God created peanuts, which means that peanuts are good because they were created by a perfect and good God. However, we still have many people who are allergic to peanuts. Does that mean that God’s creation (peanuts) is bad or has no substance? No. It just means that although everything God makes is good, not everything is meant for everyone to have. So when we do pray, we should not just pray for generic things that we think we should have simply because they are “good” or because there is “no harm in possessing them”, but we need to be sure that we are evaluating our lives and that we are asking ourselves “do my desires and my prayers align with God’s will for my life?”.
You may not be getting what you pray for because it is dangerous for you and it will set you back, especially in your relationship with God.
A biblical example of this is in Proverbs 30: 8-9. Agur asked God to give him neither poverty nor riches, but to only give him his daily bread because he recognized that he may have too much and disown God or become poor and steal, and so dishonor God’s name. Agur was completely real and transparent with himself, enough to acknowledge that he may not be able to manage having too much or not enough. Sometimes we are afraid to take that self-inventory and truly ask ourselves if we are actually prepared for the things that we are praying for. Other times, we do take that self-inventory and figure “there is no way I am not ready for this”, but in God’s eyes, we are not! He sees ahead of us and although we may miss some of the flaws that we have, He sees them and sees how they can set us back, especially if He gives us what we are asking for. There are plenty of examples of this in the Bible (especially with the Prodigal’s son), but let’s use a present-day example of this. Let’s say that as a mother, your parents passed on and you inherit their insurance money or their will. In their will, they specify the assets that they left for you and your teenage children. Let’s just say that you have 2 children and they both inherit $100,000 each. Using your motherly wisdom, you know that they are not prepared to handle or even know about that kind of money because they could lose it, waste it, and they have some flaws that, if paired with such riches, could cause them to neglect you, move out, live recklessly, and misuse those riches. Would you give them that kind of money? I am sure that your answer would be a flat-out “no”, and the “no” does not mean you do not love your children or do not want to see them be wealthy, but it is because you want to protect them from harming themselves and their relationships with you with that kind of money.
Another example that I am sure some of us may relate to is wanting to be in a relationship with someone. Have you ever wanted to be with someone (whether you prayed for that person or not), and you never got a chance to date him/her, and after some time had passed, you realized something toxic or some major flaws and lack of maturity in that person? Let’s say that this person was extremely controlling and their last few relationships ended badly because of that trait. Would you not then think that it could’ve been you that was stuck in a toxic relationship with that person? Would you not be grateful that it was not you who was harmed in that relationship? Well, this is where you realize that God knows best. He knows that if He had allowed you to go into that relationship, you probably would not have had enough time for Him anymore, you would’ve been more focused on your partner, and when things ended badly, that would have driven you farther away from Him, making it even more dangerous for you to navigate life. As the all-knowing God that He is, He would rather risk you being temporarily upset at Him for not giving you what you want, then to satisfy your desires, knowing that it would end badly and He would be risking losing you. To Him, you are not worth losing over anyone or anything.
So what does that mean for us?
It means that we should be asking God whether we are ready for the things that we pray for. We should be praying a similar prayer to that of Agur: Lord, please do not open any door that I am not ready or meant to walk into, do not give me anything that I am not ready to have, even if it may hurt, because I do not want to risk my well-being and my relationship with you by having them. Father, I also ask that you do not leave me with “not enough” so that I do not get tempted to do anything out of my character and out of your will to provide for myself.
You may not be getting what you pray for because it is not time for you to have it.
Finally, what you are asking for may very well be in God’s will for you, but perhaps your timing in asking it is way off. This might have some similarities with the reason provided in number 2, but it is different in that you may not necessarily mishandle what you are praying for, but God has perfect timing and we must trust that. It also does not necessarily have anything to do with our relationship with God being at risk if we did get what we prayed for, but rather that we need proper training for what He plans to give us. Let’s take Joseph’s story, for example. Joseph, the youngest of his father’s siblings, had a vision that he would be the leader of his family. Although God showed him this vision at a very young age, it did not manifest until he turned 30. What was happening during that long process? God gave Joseph favor to lead and minister to prisoners in prison, to lead Potiphar’s (one of King Pharaoh’s ministers) house, etc. God was training him without him even knowing it. When the time came for his door to open, he was ready to stand before the king and show that he was prepared to lead a nation, which he did. In Joseph’s story, although it took some time for him to lead a nation, he was being trained throughout his life by leading on lower levels until he was prepared to handle leading an entire nation. This tells us that what we pray for can certainly be in God’s will for us, and we may not be the type of people that would risk our purpose and begin to worship or misuse what God blesses us with, but it may just not be the right timing for it. We may still need training, and trust me when you are willing to patiently wait for God’s timing to get what you have prayed for, it makes it that much more enjoyable because we know that when we receive it, we are equipped to handle it.
So there you have it, 3 reasons that you may not be getting what you pray for. I hope that this encourages you to seek God, to inquire about what your purpose is, and to ask Him whether you are praying for the right things and for what is in His will for your life.
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