When God Doesn’t Answer Prayer Like You Want Him To

By Tiffany Deluccia >>>

I’m reading the Gospels again, reminding myself of the character of Christ. I think I sometimes get so used to Him. I hear so much about Him. But when I read His words, they come alive in my heart again. He was not what we sometimes make Him out to be.

I was struck this week as I read the book of Mark just how rarely He did what was expected of Him in the way it was expected. In the beginning, people had no expectations at all — He was just some guy from a small town whom everyone knew as a carpenter. But turn some water into wine. Heal someone sick. Teach with marvelous clarity and revelation. And ta da da — People started to create their own expectations. I think I do the same thing.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised when He answers our prayers differently than we expect Him to.

Even when He was on the earth, and He’d become known among the masses for healing all who came to Him, He often didn’t heal like people thought He should.

He let Jairus’ daughter die and then raised her again. (Mark 5)

He healed one leper by touching him. (Matthew 8)

He healed a group of lepers by telling them to go see the priest. (Luke 17)

He rubbed mud on a blind man’s eye sockets and told him to go wash it off. (John 9)

He’d sometimes say, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9)

Other times, He said nothing at all. (Mark 5)

I’ve been guilty of making requests of God and telling Him exactly how I want it done. But I don’t want my faith to be limited to the methods I could come up with. I have a feeling the methods I could come up with don’t really require much faith. They probably insulate me against needing real faith.

So, here’s where I am: What requests am I bringing before God that are in line with His will and that I have no idea how to address on my own? What prayers am I whispering without a sense of how I expect Him to answer it?

The wonder of God is that He is beyond our understanding, and yet He chooses to show Himself to us. I want more of the wonder.

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