Journal Entry ~ 11/24/17

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. - Luke 18:1

God can bring about justice in any situation, even when the odds seem stacked against us or those we love.  If we persevere in prayer, and we trust that He WILL answer our prayers, He will bring justice. This is what this parable about - we are not to lose heart, we are to trust that in every situation, God will reign.  

When we are waiting for a prayer to be answered, it can be so easy to lose heart if we don't see Him at work. We have a tendency to give up, thinking He won't answer our prayer and we must just have to learn to deal with the circumstances...things will never change. That thinking can take us to a dangerous and bitter place, guarding our hearts while we’re waiting for prayers to be answered is crucial to our faith. We can do that by remembering a few things when we’re feeling this way.  

Start with the reminder that God cares for you immensely, more than you can possibly imagine. We are told in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Think about that for a moment - He LOVED you so much that He allowed His son to be mocked and hung on a cross just so that your wrongs could be made right and you could be with Him. It’s the ultimate demonstration of sacrificial love. As a mother of three sons, I still struggle to even imagine this scenario myself, but I never question His love for me when I consider His sacrifice. Considering He loved you enough to give up His only Son for you, you can be confident He loves you enough to give you the desires of your heart. 

He never delays an answer to our prayers because He doesn’t care for you, He delays an answer because there are parts of the picture we don’t see yet or something we don’t understand. We need to remember that God created us and everything in this world. He knows infinitely more than anything we can fathom. He knows our prayers, He knows the desires of our hearts, but He also sees and knows so much more than our small perspective of a situation. So while our heart cries out for justice in a specific circumstance or to soften the heart of a loved one, God knows what’s best - for us and for everyone involved. As children do not always understand what’s best for them because they lack the perspective or knowledge, we may not always have the perspective to know what’s best for us or for our loved ones. We are the children of God. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - John 1:12. He knows what’s best for us and He loves us. We can trust that His plan is the very best for us, just as a parent's plan is better than a child’s plan. His delay in answering our prayers is always for our good, even if we can't see it in the moment. There are more things at work in this world than our limited perspective can see or know. 

We must also remember that God has intentionally placed us in very specific situations and relationships in our lives - our trials and heartaches are by no accident.  Those people we love deeply and are praying fervently for were specifically placed in our lives just so a God honoring person would persistently pray for them. Don’t stop. Don’t ever give up praying for that person. God intended for you to be the one who prays for that person. He is refining you in the wait, and He is at the work in the person you are praying for - you can be confident of it. 

Remember His ultimate will is that all will come to know Jesus as His Son and Savior. If your prayer request is in line with His will, then you can pray confidently and know that it will happen. Sometimes His answer is to wait. It takes time for God to bring about the change of heart or situation that you long for, but He is always at work when your requests line up with His will. 

Sometimes God says wait, but sometimes He says no. It can be heart crushing to receive a no when we’re praying for healing of someone we care deeply for, especially when it leads to a loss so deep we don’t know how to move on. Even in these devastating moments, we can know God is still at work, and He is still after our ultimate good - even in the moments we shed more tears than we thought we possible, even when it hurts so much we’re not sure if we can take another breath, He has a plan. He saves every one of our tears in a bottle, and He holds us in the palm of His hand at those moments.  Even though it makes absolutely no sense to us, we must remember He has a broader perspective. He has a plan for our pain, and we can know that it’s beautiful. The sad part is that so many walk away from Him in those difficult moments because it doesn’t go the way we want it to go. 

Keep pressing on, keep persisting. Don’t every give up, knowing that God chose you to pray for that situation or person. This world will distract us, and the enemy will lie to us - I've fallen victim to these lies so many times, but I just love the way God knows what we need to hear this truth so often, and so He reminds us in verses like this over and over - do not to lose heart.  

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:


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