Ever since I started really diving into prayer and asking God for some big and bold things, I have noticed a STRONG trend.
He rarely answers in the way I expect.
Now, on the one hand this is incredible because it testifies to the vastness and inexplicable ways of our God. What is a God that I can predict? That doesn’t seem like a God at all. I am grateful that He continues to surprise, amaze and overwhelm me with His creativity.
But on the other hand, that means that I am often faced with what seems like a trial, obstacle, or flat out no before I really understand what He’s up to.
Recently, I prayed that God would help me to be a better communicator in my personal relationships. While this may have been naive of me, I sort of just expected to suddenly be gifted with excellent communication skills that dazzled those around me. As you can imagine, that is not what happened.
I noticed first that I felt convicted on all the many things I had a desire to “communicate” about. I really was just looking to complain, correct, and chastise those around me and tell them what they were doing wrong. I did not anticipate that the first part of God answering this prayer would be swift conviction. As God began to tackle my motives, I was presented a beautifully painful opportunity to die to myself. It seemed to me that God was asking me to keep silent when I had asked him to restore my voice.
God and I worked out the kinks and I was able to surrender some things to Him and discern what actually needed to be communicated about and then came the wait. It often felt like I wasn’t going to get to speak for EVER. I whined in my prayer time asking God when I would get to say my peace. I wrestled feeling like my thoughts didn’t matter and weren’t important enough to share. And God gently showed me that the right word at the wrong time isn’t the right word at all. Patience was another layer to this answered prayer I had not planned for. Everyone, and I mean everyone, we know is going through something.
So I waited. Somedays I waited well and other days I didn’t. Then I finally decided, He was going to do it in His own way and His own time and all I had to do was be ready. I had to believe that God knew my desires and would orchestrate the conversations that needed to be had exactly at the right time. He would prepare the heart of the listeners and He would give me words to speak. And He was faithful.
Conversations have flowed since then and I have seen the fruit of this prayer come about in a real tangible way. I am so grateful that God taught me the what, when, and how of communication. I am so grateful He took the time to let me wrestle with my motives and taught me to wait for the right time.
It did not look like my prayer was being answered. It looked like I was being silenced at some points and forgotten at others. But he was working in me the whole time, preparing me to be the very thing I asked.
Maybe God didn’t say no to your request. Maybe God just said yes but this way first. Trust the process my friend. It is ALWAYS for your Good.
If you are looking to study prayers of the Bible that God answered. I created a study for you called ANSWERED.