“I quit! God never answered my prayers. Please stop praying for my family.”
Each time I hear those words, they pierce my heart as I wonder, “What would happen if they give up right before their prayer is answered?”
Can you live with that what if?
I think about the numerous signs my mom had that my dad had no intention of coming home. Aside from the obvious fact that he repeatedly told her, “I’m never coming back. Move on with your life,” it was evident by the way he was living. He was in another relationship, he moved away and he repeatedly told her to go find someone else.
In my dad’s book, The Prodigal’s Perspective, he writes the following words about this topic:
We know that your prodigal’s thoughts are not their own. He or she has been taken captive by the enemy to carry out his evil plan. That plan includes doing anything possible to discourage you in your stand for a healed marriage.
That “never coming back” remark is one of the most common phrases used by the enemy, and sadly, it still works on some abandoned spouses. Frequently, we receive email that reads, “There’s no use standing for my marriage, because my spouse says they are never coming back.” Sadly, Satan has just done what he was attempting to do: cause some wounded spouse to give up.
Please her me clearly. It does not matter what your spouse, operating under the enemy’s control, is saying. It does matter a great deal that you recognize the true source of their comments and their actions.
Many of you have heard the testimony ofFabian and Luz. She had what some would call a long stand. They were apart for 13 years. In the midst of that, Luz had many occasions where she said, “I quit! God never answered my prayers.” I wonder what could have been avoided if those words were never uttered and acted upon. They both believe that their marriage would have been restored sooner.
Do you really believe in the power of prayer? I feel like the church doesn’t feel there is an effectiveness in prayer. Yes, as Christians, many pray, but do they really understand and believe that prayer changes things? If we did, I think we would live our lives differently. If we did, we would drop to our knees before picking up the phone when tragedy strikes. If we did, our lives would be lived differently as we truly depend on Christ for our every need.
Many use prayer as a means to get what they want, regardless of whether or not it is what God wants.
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Do you remember when Job was in the thick of things and he cried out to God, Job 30:20, “I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer. I stand up, but you merely look at me.”
Those are some stern words that Job had for God. Have you ever felt that way? God had not forgotten Job and He has not forgotten you. Job begged for God to take away his life. What if God actually answered that prayer?
It is so easy for us to think we know what is best for our life at all times. I am sure you could not find a person on this earth who would say, “Pick me!” when the trials are being passed out. I can also assure you that you would be hard pressed to find a Christian who has been through a trial and come out of it, cursing God for what He allowed. So much can be gained from a trial.
Do you know how a pearl is formed? A parasite or a foreign object enters an oyster. The oyster creates a substance around the invader in order to protect itself. Layer after layer of the substance eventually forms a pearl. The end result to the unwanted invader is a beautiful pearl.
When we are faced with adversity (much like that oyster’s parasite), our reaction is to get rid of it. We want a life free from pain and discomfort. Much like the end result of a pearl, we can produce positive and beautiful things after a trial.
When you utter the words, “I quit! God never answered my prayers,” you are giving up on a Savior who died for you. You are doubting His authority. You are doubting His sovereignty. You can’t in one breath proclaim Him as King of Kings, and in the next breath curse Him for not doing things your way.
Guess what? Your way is probably going to lead you down a path of further destruction. When people do things their way, there are marriages that are birthed in sin, there are babies born out of wedlock, there is a trail of death and destruction left behind.
Some of you are cleaning up that trail as you now follow Christ. Did you really think your way was best? We cause so many detours when we try to live our life in our own power.
Another reason our prayers may go unanswered is sin in our lives.
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:18
Seek the Lord, ask Him to show you areas of your life where you are sinning. Are you harboring bitterness and hatred towards your spouse? What about the other person they are involved with? Do you pray for that person or are you filled with anger towards them?
Trust God and His timing.
Trust God and His timing!
Trust God and His timing!
What would you have been thinking if you were one of the people watching Jesus die on the cross? I probably would have been wondering when God was going to stop the pain and suffering His Son was enduring and take care of those evil people who put Him there. Our human minds cannot even comprehend the suffering Jesus endured. God watched His Son suffer for our sake. He knew there was a bigger plan than people could understand at that point.
You may be questioning why you are having to face this trial. Don’t give up! His timing is perfect. He can make a way when you see no end to your circumstances.
Lori Steinkamp Lassen
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
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