Matt had a brain tumor. Surgery was imminent. Along with many others, our office staff prayed for Matt.
And then the most amazing thing happened. The tumor was gone. The surgery wasn't required. (Matt is still undergoing chemotherapy as precaution).
As I heard the good news, I found myself asking, "Why is it so hard to believe that Matt was healed?"
I think it's because of all the similar prayers "apparently" unanswered or, perhaps more accurately, not answered the way I wanted. It leads to a lack of faith.
Of course, that's nothing new. When the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't heal a boy with epilepsy, Jesus said, "Because of your little faith." Wow. He went on, "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20).
I talked about this at our HQ staff meeting yesterday. Jamie Turco wrote this especially insightful response:
"The key word that kept coming to my heart when you were asking why it's so hard to have faith was "self-preservation." Every fervent, faithful prayer that ends up crushingly unmet (in my temporal view at least) chips away at something in my heart. So to preserve my heart-and my relationship with God-I find myself giving Him an "out" in my prayers-the trusted "if it's your will" clause. That way, when it doesn't happen, the damage is minimized; the broken pieces aren't further shattered. And I can more easily, readily believe He is good and that He loves and cares. Wild, mountain-moving faith has become the casualty, replaced with a managed hopefulness in a God too-often kept at arm's length. That's been my own personal struggle these past few years. I need to re-enter a war room of my own with abandon."
God DOES answer EVERY prayer. If we don't have faith in that, then our hearts WILL become callused. We will NOT pray in faith. And the words of Jesus will be true of US.
Let's not let that happen. Let's have FAITH that God is able, TRUST that He is working out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will (Ephesians 1:11), and PRAY believing that God will answer EVERY prayer in a good and great way. As I said at Bible study last Friday, "Even if I die, God is still in control."
Yours for changed lives...