Do you have forgotten prayers in your repertoire? Or perhaps prayers you’ve been praying for years with no answer?
I reached between the cushions of the recliner trying to retrieve the bottle cap I’d just dropped. As I felt around the metal spring mechanism, I gasped. What my fingers touched was not a bottle cap, but what felt like the temple piece of a pair of glasses. I gently pulled on it, but it was stuck. I maneuvered it around and pulled out the pair of glasses I’d “lost” almost a year previously. A sizable gouge was on the top of the frames on the right side, but the lenses were not scratched at all. The frame wasn’t even bent out of shape.
The night I lost them, I’d been sitting in our recliner showing a friend of our grandsons some pictures on my phone. I was wearing my glasses. After she left, I went to bed. The next morning I couldn’t find them. I hadn’t been anywhere. I knew I’d had them looking at the pictures. Didn’t go anywhere but to bed. Where could they have gone? We looked everywhere. We turned the recliner upside down not once, but half a dozen times, but no glasses. We prayed. Our Life Group prayed. Neighbors came over and prayed. A few days went by, we kept praying. My Mah Jong friends prayed. “Lord, you know where those glasses are. Please, help us find them.” I am legally blind in one eye, and although the vision in my right eye has served me well through the years, as I get older I find I need to wear my glasses all of the time now. I needed them. Had they fallen in our friend’s purse? No. Had she picked them up by mistake? No. This was a unsettling event for us, as we are on a fixed income and a new pair of glasses is a big budget item for us. Where were they? Lord, help!
When the first of the year passed, our insurance instituted a program whereby I could afford to get a new pair of glasses. I didn’t like them as well as I did the original pair, but I was grateful to be able to get another pair. Occasionally I would think about those glasses, but didn’t continue to dwell on the loss.
And now they show up almost by “accident.” What is this about, Lord? What am I supposed to glean from this? What are you saying to me? As I thought about the incident, I believe God wanted to teach me in this simple example about trusting him when it seems he’s not answering.
Even when God doesn’t answer our prayers right away, it doesn’t mean he’s not going to. I just need to trust him in the meantime. He provided the new insurance program by which I was able to get a new pair until the old ones were found, so I could see. There are situations in our family we’ve been lifting to the Father for years with no apparent answer. Does that mean he’s not going to answer? I don’t think so.
I found an account of one of my ancestors when the family was clearing land in Pennsylvania after fleeing religious persecution in France in the 17th century. He fell to his knees in a freshly plowed field and begged God to use his descendants mightily in the kingdom. I believe I’ve seen the answer to that to some extent in the lives of the descendants on that side of the family and my own family. Even though not all of our family is walking with the Lord, they will. They may be caught in the ironclad vise of a sinful lifestyle, but I am praying. They may have gouges and be scarred from that lifestyle, but I am praying. I may be gone by the time the prayers are answered, but he will answer. He promises he will. I simply need to trust his faithfulness.
Forgotten prayers? Nope, no such thing. God never forgets, and he is faithful. We can trust him.
For I will pour water upon him who is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit upon your offspring, and My blessing upon your descendants (Isaiah 44:3 Amp).