daily devotional

Have you ever specifically prayed for something, but it didn’t happen? What’s the deal? Did God not hear you? Did you not pray the right words or pray long enough? Was there some past sin blocking you from your answered prayer?

It’s happened to all of us. We feel our prayer wasn’t heard, and it certainly wasn’t answered. As a result, we’ve lost faith that God will really answer our prayers. A doubt has grown within us, questioning if he really does what he said he would do. And if he does, why hasn’t he done it for you?

Maybe you’ve been so disappointed by past prayers that went seemingly unanswered, that deep down you’ve stopped believing God is even remotely going to answer your current prayers. Oh, you still go through the motions and you pray, but it’s more like an insurance policy for when it all goes wrong so that you feel the fault isn’t yours … hey you prayed about it. This is on God.

I felt an absolute conviction within my spirit as I read Jesus’ words in Matthew 21: 22 “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Have I stopped believing? Have you?

Has your disappointment and discouragement over unchanging circumstances hardened your spirit to the point of no longer really believing God is going to respond to your requests? Have you lost hope here? Is your prayer kindof like the Hail Mary pass at the end of the game? You have nothing to lose, so you just throw it out there and see what happens? Then you’re not at all surprised when God doesn’t answer because it was a really long shot anyway.

Dang, you’re no longer surprised when God doesn’t answer. You’re no longer disappointed by a prayer that doesn’t seem to be heard, because you already prepared yourself for the lack of change in circumstances, and more of just the same.

So, let’s get to the heart of this … are you really BELIEVING when you pray, or are you praying out of obligation because it’s what you think you’re supposed to do? Are you just checking boxes, or are you tapping into the power of the Almighty?

When you flip a light switch in your house, you expect the lights to come on, right? And if the lights don’t come on, you’re shocked. You know there’s a problem. What’s the problem? There’s a disconnect in the power somewhere. Something is turned off.

Have you ever been in a power outage, and out of habit you still walk in the room and flip the switch? You feel so stupid, but it’s just habit. You’re walking into the garage to get the flashlight and you try to turn on the garage lights to find it. Okay, that’s WHY you are looking for your flashlight, because the power is out.

Is the power out on your prayers? What’s the power? Well, what did Jesus say? If you pray this 12 sentence prayer? If you pray everyday for 2 hours straight? If you pray loud where everyone can here you? If you pray with fancy $5 words? If you have 1,200 of your Facebook friends pray with you? If you pray without a single wandering thought or distraction. Ohhhh, that’s the one that knocks me out of the running. I always get distracted when I pray. I fall asleep as I’m praying at night. Maybe that’s the disconnect in power for me.

No … it’s none of that. Jesus simply said “if you BELIEVE, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Your belief in the power of God is the power. When you stopped believing God would really respond, you cut the line.

Are you praying because it MIGHT work, or because you KNOW IT WILL WORK?

We have such a disdain for disappointment, that we insulate ourselves from really believing God will respond to our requests to protect ourselves from the blow when it doesn’t happen. And this isn’t faith. Faith is, if I pray about it, it’s a done deal. God is on the scene and he is working. I don’t have to see it to believe it, I know it’s happening. That is faith.

Faith is believing God’s ways are higher and better than our ways. Faith is knowing his perspective is higher than ours, he knows what we don’t know, sees what we can’t see, holds the end from the beginning, and he is working all things together for good. Faith is laying our requests at his feet, and walking away knowing it is 100% taken care of.

Is it easy? Absolutely not. God’s ways are not our ways and his timeline is completely different than ours. So watching things go unchanged and still believing … that requires faith.

Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

God is not pleased with our pansy prayers of powerless petitions. You cannot please God without faith. And my guess is, you have some highly unlikely scenarios in your life right now that you’re afraid to even get your hopes up over. You’re afraid to really believe God is going to move and answer your prayers because you’ve prayed so many times before and nothing has changed.

Well, ask again. Don’t lose faith here. Don’t settle on the journey to the destiny God has for you. He knows where you are, and he knows the potential he has made available to you. He WANTS to unleash his full blessings upon you. He never wants to withhold a single good thing from you. Ask him again.

Ask him as his beloved and precious daughter. Ask him as someone who knows his power, and is fully plugged in. The power is on, flip the switch. Be certain he is answering on your behalf. Be positive he hears and he responds.

You’ve prayed about it … now have you believed about it? Or are you holding back so the disappointment of another no isn’t so devastating? God can be trusted. He can’t always be understood, but he can be trusted.

Maybe what you’ve lost here is hope. Your hope is wavering. Your heart is heavy and burdened and your hopes have been crushed as there continues to be no sign of God’s power at work in this situation. Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” When answers are delayed, you lose hope. When you lose hope, your heart literally feels sicks. This is why the enemy attacks your hope. He continually pokes at your hope, telling you your prayers have once again gone unanswered and things will never change. You are left sick, defeated and disconnected from the power. But Jesus said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Whatever your trouble is, Jesus has already overcome it. He’s already conquered this problem. He’s already made a way through this mess. Take that heart of yours and let it hope again. Fill it with faith that God loves you wildly and sets his power into motion when you pray.

So girl, you ask. Ask boldly. Tap into his power. Come on up to the throne and talk to the Father. Believe he hears, he cares, and he moves on your behalf. You ask, and it’s done. Done in the best way possible. Done in the best timing. Done in ways you could have never expected. Done.