Ponderings for August 7 2018

The angst was dripping off the “As You Wish” request card: 
 
Why doesn’t the Lord answer my prayers? The healing of the cancer…the salvation of the lost friend…the repair of the fractured marriage…the return of the prodigal…are not these “good” things within the will of God? Why does he seem to be so quiet as I bring these matters to his attention?
 
Jesus prayed that his future followers would be as unified as he and his Father are. Talk about an unanswered prayer. It would not be an exaggeration to say that rarely, if ever, has the church of Jesus Christ been completely unified—locally, globally, denominationally, historically, or theologically. Did the Lord not hear his Son clearly?
 
Unanswered prayer can be examined from a number of different angles. This coming Sunday, as we continue our “As You Wish” message series, we will probe the theme of unanswered prayer while also looking at John 17 (Jesus’ “high priestly prayer”).  
 
As we approach Sunday and anticipate the things that we may grapple with concerning prayer and God’s responses, I leave you with Isaiah’s words (you’re still reading Isaiah, right?): “…those who wait for me shall not be put to shame” (49:23). I may be called to wait patiently amid the Lord’s silence, but I can be confident that I will not be embarrassed because of my faith and trust in him. Or, as Jeremiah says, “The Lord is good to those who wait of him, to the soul who seeks him” (Lamentations 3:25). 
 
Hard—but important: Despite the disappointment of unanswered prayers, I must bank on the Lord’s goodness amid my confusion and heavy heart. My praying and my waiting are not in vain. He will be good to me.
 
See you Sunday,
Pastor Paul