Illustration results for unanswered prayer
George Mueller kept praying too. When George Mueller was a young convert he began praying daily for five friends to come to know Christ as Savior. Two friends became Christians within two years of his own conversion. But it seemed as if his prayers for the remaining three friends would never be answered. But they were. One of those men was converted about ten years after Muellerís conversion. The fourth apparently was converted shortly before Muellerís death, in response to what was probably Muellerís last sermon. And the fifth man was converted within a year of Muellerís funeral. George Mueller had been praying for him for more than sixty years!
Unanswered prayer? How do we ever know for sure it will remain unanswered? Since we do not, we should always pray and not give up. Amen.
On September 27, 1991, as was his custom, Gerald Sittser, a professor of religion and philosophy at Whitworth College, prayed, asking God to protect and bless his family. Something went terribly wrong. Later that afternoon, returning from a family outing, a drunk driver lost control of his car and smashed into the Sittsersí minivan. Sittserís wife Lynda; his daughter Diana Jane; and his mother, who was visiting for the weekend, were all killed in the collision.
Sittser write: "To this day I have been unable to understand what made that day different. What prevented my prayers from getting through to God? Did I commit some unpardonable sin? Did I fail to say the right words? Did God suddenly turn against me? Why, I have asked myself a thousand times, did my prayer go unanswered?"
He still cannot explain it, but concludes an article on unanswered prayer with these words:
"Ö Jesus charges us to view life from a redemptive perspective. There is more to life than meets the eye when God gets involved. He works things out for good. Ö We view unanswered prayer from the perspective of our immediate experience and our limited vision. But God is doing something so great that only faith can grasp it, wait for it, and pray for it."
Gerald L. Sittser from Discipleship Journal, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 26
THE STATS ON PRAYER
A Newsweek poll several years ago titled "Is God Listening?" indicated that 54% of those the magazine surveyed prayed on a daily basis - 25% said they pray to God once a day and 29% more than once a day.
87% believed that God answers their prayers at least some of the time. Even so, unanswered prayers did not deter them from praying. 85% insisted that they could accept God's failure to grant their prayers. Only 13 percent declared they have lost faith because their prayers went unanswered. 82% don't turn away from God even when their prayers go unanswered. 54% say that when God doesn't answer their prayers, it means it wasn't God's will to answer.
The things people pray for include health, safety, jobs, and even success, valid or not. 82% said they ask for health or success for a child or family member when they pray. 82% believed that God does not play favorites in answering prayers. 79% said God answers prayer for healing someone with an incurable disease. 75% asked for strength to overcome personal weakness. 73% answered that prayers for help in finding a job are answered. On the lighter side, 51% agreed that God doesn't answer prayers to win sporting events. 36% never prayed for financial or career success.
SOURCE: Victor Yap in "The Cry of My Heart" on www.sermoncentral.com. Citation: "Is God Listening?" Newsweek Magazine, 3/31/97.
[Coach Jim Fasselís Son Bears Family Likeness, source: Bill Pennington, "34 Years Later: One Coachís Sweetest Victory," New York Times (5-16-03)]
As the head coach of the New York Giants, Jim Fassel has enjoyed great success on the football field with a trip to the Super Bowl as recently as 2001. A fresh off-the-field-success, however, might be his sweetest victory. The story begins 34 years ago.
The year was 1967; Jim and Kitty Fassel were freshmen in college in Fullerton, California when they met, fell in love, and made a mistake. In the late summer of 1968, as they were getting ready to start their sophomore years, they found out Kitty was pregnant. Since abortion was never an option for them, they seriously considered marriage before accepting their parentsí advice that being forced into a wedding was no way to start their lives together. Kitty left southern California to attend a Colorado business school and have the baby. On April 5, 1969, a healthy baby boy was born and three days later given up for adoption.
Even though Jim and Kitty got married two years later and raised four more children during their 32 years of marriage, the unanswered questions about their firstborn son haunted them. They tried for years to make contact with their son but were unsuccessful, until a change in Colorado adoption laws in July of 2002. On Motherís day, May 2003, they spoke on the telephone for the first time, and three days later they met face-to-face.
The Fasselís reunion with their son, John Mathieson, turned into a genuine reconciliation. Said Coach Fassel: "For John, Kitty, and myself, we have lived with an unanswerable question for all these years. If someone had granted us one wish in the world, it would always have been to be together and to know things were okay. Instead you carry this question around with you, and you never know how it will come out. So to have a day like today, it is a miracle."
The family resemblance between Mr. Fassel and his long-lost son, John Mathieson, is obvious even at a glance, but for years Mathieson did not know who his true father was. He bore the image of his father but was unaware.
Mathieson recalls watching a November 2000 replay of Coach Fassel on television making a now-famous prediction. The Giantís were reeling from two consecutive losses at a time when they should have been ramping up for a playoff run. Most commentators were writing them off and suggesting that a postseason birth was out of the pictu...
God can be trusted.
Our prayers will not go unheeded.
Itís like a little girl
who crawled up into her fatherís lap
while was reading the newspaper.
She told him how much she wanted him to build her a doll house.
She didnít climb down till her daddy had promised to do just that,
although he was somewhat distracted and agreed
mostly because he wanted to be allowed to continue to read his paper.
He forgot about his promise until he walked into her room one evening
and saw all her dolls and doll furniture were packed to move into the new dollhouse.
When he asked her about it,
she simply told him
that she knew he would be building it
(even though has hadnít yet begun!)
because he had promised that he would.
That was goo enough for her.
I donít know of a better definition of faith.
God has promised to heed our prayers.
They will not go unanswered.
According to a poll on prayer for Newsweek (3/31/97), the following percentage said:
They ask for health or success for a child or family member when they pray -- 82
They ask for strength to overcome a personal weakness -- 75
They never ask for financial or career success -- 36
God answers prayers -- 87
God doesn’t answer prayers -- 51
They believe God does not play favorites in answering prayers -- 82
God answers prayers for healing someone with an incurable disease -- 79
Prayers for help in finding a job are answered -- 73
They believe that when God doesn’t answer their prayers, it means it wasn’t God’s will to answer -- 54
They don’t turn away from God when prayers go unanswered -- 82
We dare not confine theology to seminary coffee shops where professors and students play mental badminton. It affects all of us. Some people lose their faith because of a sharp sense of disappointment with God. They expect God to act a certain way, and God "lets them down." Others may not lose their faith, but they too experience a form of disappointment. They believe God will intervene, they pray for a miracle, and their prayers come back unanswered. [Philip Yancey, Disappointment With God, page 26.]
INTRO: A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small, desert-like island. The two survivors, not knowing what else to do, agreed that they had no other recourse but to pray to God. However, to find out whose prayer was more powerful, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they prayed for was food. The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the land, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other manís parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife. The next day, another ship was wrecked, and the only survivor was a woman who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.
Soon the first man prayed for a house, clothes, more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. However, the second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship, so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island. He considered the other man unworthy to receive Godís blessing, since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a voice from heaven booming, ďWhy are you leaving your companion on the island?Ē
ďMy blessings are mine alone...
Saved by Sickness from NIU Shooting
The church member, a grandfather, received a phone call one evening this past week from his granddaughter who was sick and asked for prayer. The godly grandfather prayed and prayed in faith for healing. But she got worse in the night.
Early the next morning she called her granddad again for prayer, and he prayed the Word of God and prayed earnestly for healing. She had a class she couldnít afford to miss as there was a big test she had to take.
But she got worse and couldnít go.
The grandfather was downcast over his unanswered prayers. He was upset as he had prayed and prayed believing for his grandchildís healing and that she could be present to take her exam.
Why didnít God answer?
God didnít answer, he thought.
Or, did He?
Later that day he found that his granddaughter, a college student a Northern Illinois University, would have been in the classroom taking a test where the terrible shooting occured killing 6 students. She could have been one of those killed if she had been well enough to attend class.
Maybe, God knew more. Of course, God knew more. He knows all.
Brian La Croix
WHAT JESUS PRAYED FOR
Philip Yancey, in an article for Christianity Today, wrote:
"When Jesus prayed to the one who could save him from death, he did not get that salvation; he got instead the salvation of the world." ["Jesusí Unanswered Prayers," Christianity Today (Feb. 1998)]