Skip to main content

Ungranted Prayers

One of the biggest arguments that skeptics use against Christianity is the difference between the promises found in the Bible regarding prayer and reality. If we are honest with ourselves there are time when we wonder if our prayers are making it past the ceiling. It is embarrassing to try to explain the differences between the promises in the Bible and the reality in our lives.

Perhaps part of the reason for this is that the promises we read in the Bible don't say what we think they say. That is what H. Lynn Gardner argues in part one of his article When Our Prayer Requests Are Not Granted. Gardner writes:
People often speak of unanswered prayer. Is this the best term to use? It may wrongly suggest that God is either unable or unwilling to respond to our prayers when he may well answer in ways we do not recognize. Therefore, I prefer to speak of ungranted prayer requests.

Whenever we study the words of Scripture, we need to be careful not to take them out of their context. This is particularly true of Jesus’ prayer promises. Context controls meaning. Each promise should be read in the light of the statements surrounding it. To whom was the promise given? Does the context limit or qualify the meaning? What does the rest of Scripture teach?
Gardner goes on to examine several of the Biblical promises concerning prayer and helps us understand their context. We need to remember this when we get frustrated with our prayers. I encourage you to read When Our Prayer Requests Are Not Granted.


Popular posts from this blog

Prayer: Married Bedtime Prayer

My wife Jenny and I have been using the Bedtime Prayer that John Eldredge wrote for Walking with God as part of our bedtime routine.  As much as I have enjoyed the prayer I thought it was time for a prayer that was better suited to pray together.  Hopefully this will encourage you to implement prayer into your bedtime routine.

Our Father in Heaven, we pause at the end of this day to say thank You.  We give You thanks for the blessing of life, for the blessing of each other, for the blessing of family, and for the blessing of a home. You have richly blessed our lives. Restore us Father to Your Son Jesus.  He is the vine and we are the branches and He has become our source of life.  Open our hearts to receive the Holy Spirit's guidance, healing, and transformation.  May our lives and our marriage bear the fruit of the Spirit.  We surrender our lives and our marriage to You.  You have our bodies, possessions, and spirits; we give You our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.  We belon…

God Uses Unlikely People

One of the things that strike me about God is that the value society has given to people makes no difference to Him. In fact it seems that God would rather use the common, even the despised, people of the world to make a difference in this world. Consider Moses. God doesn’t use Moses when he is a prince of Egypt, but when he is a nomadic shepherd. Certainly God has used the rich and the powerful, but more often than not God has used the poor, sinful, and abused. God uses the unlikeliest people.

This reality comes our loud and clear at Christmas time. Think about the major characters of the Christmas story: Joseph who is a poor and scandalize carpenter, Mary who is a young and scandalized girl, Shepherds who are a bunch of untrustworthy characters. Only the Magi have credibility in society, but this diminishes in Jewish culture since these men were Gentiles. The most important event in the history of the world and God chooses people who are rejected and wouldn’t be believed by so…

Worship is a Lifestyle

"It's a lot easier to sing a song than it is to stop and touch the broken. It's a lot less taxing to go to church than to take 'church' to the world. But sharing with others is a sacrifice of worship that makes God smile." ~ Louie Giglio; The Air I Breathe

Worship isn't just about music. Worship isn't just an activity that is planned and programmed. Worship is about glorifying God with our lives. When we seek to honor God, we worship Him.

Worship happens anytime and anyplace. It happens Sunday mornings at church. It happens Wednesday night at Bible Study. It happens when we chat with our neighbor. It happens when we serve those in need. It happens when we show love to the lonely. Worship is what being a Christian is all about.

Worship is a life lived in response to God's gracious blessings. God has given us so much. We owe Him every breath we breathe. He is responsible for our talents we use. God has given us blessing after blessing. Only a life o…