It is a reality that we often do not know how to pray, or what to pray for, and the Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26), but it is also true that we usually pray for far less than the Lord desires for us (Ephesians 3:20-21). It is the Holy Spirit who knows what God is doing or wants to do in your life (1 Corinthians 2:10-12).
In prayer, we go before God and seek clarification in what we sense to be God’s will. We are not to simply run ahead and ask God to bless what we want to do for him. We must seek where he is working and decide to join him in that work.
In prayer, the greatest need we have is for spiritual concentration. Then we are to anticipate the activity of God in answering our prayer. Most of the time we pray and then forget about what we just prayed; we get distracted and are not concentrating on seeking God’s answer. We must immediately begin to watch and anticipate how God will answer.
How often have you prayed for something and not received it or receive something different? I have a friend Tony, whose father had cancer. We prayed as a church for healing and then one day I received a call that he was at death’s door at the hospital. The family had been called in. At some point I asked him about his prayer life and faith, having so fervently prayed for his father’s healing. His response was inspiring to me. He said, “He IS healed, no more suffering and no more pain. The cancer is gone.”
So, what are you praying for right now and God is not granting? For me, I have been a fan of men’s ministry. I know the statistics and the value of men leading their families in faith and integrity, that accountability and involvement in a small group community is vital to being successful husbands and fathers. That is what the Men of Steel is all about. I have prayed over and over for God to bless what I want to do and only THIS WEEK have realized that men’s ministry is what I want to do. I have valued the relationships of several men who have participated but God has not blessed these efforts with growth or numbers.
So it is a time of seeking God, to discover if this is what HE wants me to do. When he is silent, it does not mean that he is not present or working.