Why doesn’t God help me? I’ve been praying for the same thing for years. Am I destined to struggle my whole life? I’m not sure why I even keep praying about this issue! I feel like giving up.
Can you relate to the sentiments above? I sure can!
King David expressed something similar when he questioned:
“How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2).
Indeed, Lord, “How long!?”
Don’t Lose Heart
Jesus said, “Men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). But how do we do this? If you’re like me you may be thinking, “Well, that’s easy for Him to say, but I sound like a broken record at this point. It’s exhausting!”
After Jesus made that remark, He told the parable of a persistent widow who nagged at an unjust judge who really didn’t care about helping her. In the end, he came to her assistance because he was sick of her asking for help over and over.
So is Jesus telling us that we are to plead and beg, to grovel on our hands and knees before He will answer our desperate prayers? We may be tempted to think so but He’s not anything like the judge in the parable.
You see, Jesus was contrasting the judge with our heavenly Father. If an ungodly judge will help someone who persistently asks for help, how much more so will our God who loves us?
“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily” (Luke 18:7).
Jesus made it clear that God hears and answers prayers quickly on behalf of His children. But we must keep in mind that His timetable is not ours and that He is working with infinite information that we don’t even have a clue about.
Jesus ended His teaching on this parable by posing the question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).
Our Savior will find faith on earth when He returns. It will be among those who “pray and not lose heart.” So keep praying!
Finding Hope in Nature
In His wisdom, God does not answer all our prayers when and how we’d like but He never ignores us. I’ve discovered, in fact, that He is constantly communicating with us. “How so?” you ask.
I live in rural Arkansas and one of my favorite things to do is sleep with my window open. There’s nothing like being lulled to sleep by a symphony of katydids, crickets, and cicadas. And when the lilting song of a Carolina wren wakes me, it’s hard to be mad even if it is an hour before I planned to get up.
These creatures go about their business doing exactly what God designed them to do. All along they praise Him with their sweet melodies and remind us of God’s love and care for all creation. The God who carefully crafted every detail of our world also hears the prayers of those who cry out to Him in need. His voice of comfort as heard in nature assures us that He is listening.
“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:7-10).
The God Who Sees
When Hagar, the slave of Abraham’s wife Sarah, fled into the wilderness, the Angel of the Lord found her and comforted her. At the end of the encounter, Hagar gave God a name, El Roi. It means “the God who sees” (Genesis 16:13).
The same God who saw Hagar sees us in our plight. He is so very aware of us and our needs that He knows the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30)! He “is not far from each one of us; ‘for in Him we live and move and have our being’ . . . ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17:27-28).
The same psalm that David began with a litany of “how long” questions ends like this:
“But I have trusted in Your mercy; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:5-6).
Though we may be waiting for a specific prayer to be answered, we can rejoice in the salvation of our God now. Has He not given us Jesus? Has He not dealt bountifully with us? Be patient, my friend. God does hear and answer prayer!
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