Day 21 of Prayer
WHAT DO WE DO WHEN OUR PRAYERS FEEL UNANSWERED?
"Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me-- nevertheless, not my will, but Yours, be done." Luke 22:42
Pain is no respecter of persons. Everyone has dealt with or is dealing with some sort of deep hurt. Whether it stems from being rejected by someone you deeply trusted, not being healed, or a loved one passing away, we all have experienced something that has nearly derailed us.
The *holy* thing to do is to pray, fast, and trust that God's plans are greater than ours. However, we all know that that's the absolute last thing we FEEL like doing. Thankfully our spirit does not have to submit to our flesh. Could you imagine if Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, in the Garden just threw his hands up in the air and said,"I can't do it. I don't FEEL like dying for all of humanity today." It seems silly, but He could've said that.
One night at connect group we were all sharing some deep issues that we were going through and Adriana looked us dead in the face and said--well Jesus didn't want to die on the cross. You read that right. This statement rocked my theology. He k new that was the Father's will, but that didn't stop him from crying tears of blood and desperately praying that it could be done differently.
As I began processing that profound statement, it made me more aware of the human side of Jesus. I have always had a hard time with that, which is why it is difficult for me to trust that His plans are great when I am FEELING anything but His greatness.
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41)
Our flesh will always fail us. It will always cause us to throw blame, cast shame, and choose the easiest route. This is why I think it is so important that we do not overlook the human aspect of Christ. He fully understands our frustrations, our pain, and even our weariness; and in Luke 22:42 He gave us an example of the purest response to such feelings--making them submit to the will of the Father. He exposes the lie that the flesh has control over our spirit.
Jesus shows us that it is okay to FEEL certain ways, and to express those feelings to the Father, but ultimately we have to surrender all of it to His will. As we surrender these things to God in prayer, we gain a deeper understanding of what He is doing and how He's using certain situations in our lives.
What this means is that even in the darkest of places, when we may not necessarily FEEL God or think that He is even listening, we cannot stop praying. Prayer exposes God's heart to us. He longs to give more of Himself to us, and that will not happen if we don't set aside the time to refresh our spirit.
Whenever we find ourselves nearly derailed, that is when fasting expedites that process. Fasting causes your flesh to submit to your spirit quicker than any other thing. You cannot pray and fast and not gain a glimpse into what God is doing.
In times of deep chaos, remember that your flesh is not in control, that God hears your prayers, and that He is fighting on your behalf. Remain in him and He will strengthen you with His peace and encourage you with His wisdom.
Lord I thank You that You’re aware of the things that frustrate us, of our anxious thoughts, and of our feelings that we’ve been defeated in certain areas.
I thank You that You sent Your Son, a man who was well acquainted with sorrows, so that we may know that though the sorrows are deep, Your joy that’s even deeper comes in the morning.
I thank You that He is the Savior who showed us that even when we don’t physically see the victory, we will rejoice in You because we know You WILL deliver us.
I thank You that You gave us a Savior who showed us that even though we may FEEL defeated by our enemies, Your word will come to pass.
Jesus you’re the one who showed us that even though we aren’t walking in that promise yet, You are speaking to us as though we are. You’re speaking to us as the person we have yet to become.
Lord I pray that we will be known as people after Your heart. Help us to see the victory in every battle.
Cause joy to take the place that sorrow has dwelt in too long.
Help us to trust in purity of Your love--a love that will never fail us, never forsake us, that desires the absolute best for us.
Where fear has dominated our thought, cause us to hold those things captive and know that You have treated us generously and You don’t plan on stopping. Lord Your hand is never too short.
Teach our hearts to say even so, amen.
Lord we repent of areas of our lives that we’ve allowed our circumstances to dictate Your ability to move in our lives.
We could never thank You enough for the Savior You are. Words can’t express the songs You sing over us, but help our hearts to beat to the rhythms of them.
Whether we have the answer or just the question, we choose this day to surrender to your will.
Written by Ashley Arrington