Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Why doesn't God answer my prayers?

#7: We need to persevere

“For our struggle is not against flesh & blood, but against the ruler, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world & against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:11-12

Ephesians 6 is a cracker wee Bible passage. It is often used in sermons on spiritual attack, but interestingly has more to say about spiritual resistance & standing firm.

Living a Christian life is no ice-cream topped adventure - it is a bloody & difficult fight with far too many casualties - and we must realise that some of our prayers go unanswered because there are spiritual forces of evil resisting them. This alone should be a wake up call to persevere, to not give up and keep our eyes heavenwards, while our knees are firmly rooted to the floor.

Yet sometimes it is God Himself who resists our prayers & it is to Him that we must continue in prayer. He opposes our prayers for very different reasons to the Evil One. Instead of the instant gratification of miracles on our every finger click, He calls us to persevere in prayer to deepen our character & nurture our faith.

In Luke chapter 18 Jesus teaches His disciples about persistence in prayer & not throwing in the towel too early. He tells the story of a determined widow’s unremitting demands for justice in the face of an obstinate, crooked judge. But even the unjust judge is eventually forced to give in to her constant nagging; so how much more will a loving Heavenly Father reward His children who earnestly persevere in prayer through faith & dogged determination.

Whether your prayers are being resisted by mysterious spiritual forces, by stubborn people or even by God Himself, just don’t give up.

I finish this series with a prayer that Greig records in “God on mute.” I hope you have enjoyed this series or found it at least slightly stimulating & helpful. Thanks for journeying with me.

Help me to stand

Lord, help me to stand today.
Temptations & trials abound.

When life hurts, I get confused, dishonest, suspicious & critical.
I put on the belt of truth.

When life hurts, mu relationships suffer – especially my relationship with You.
I put on the breastplate of righteousness.

When life hurts, I either get really lazy or I make myself really busy.
I put on the shoes of the Gospel.

When life hurts, I let down my guard & leave myself exposed.
I take up the shield of faith.

When life hurts, my thinking gets negative & I question everything.
I put on the helmet of salvation.

When life hurts I’m a coward.
I take hold of the sword of the Word.

Lord, it doesn’t feel very ‘finished’ down here.
I don’t feel very ‘finished.’
See me kneeling.
Help me stand.

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