Aqualyn Toi Jones

*I have a list of pet peeves that seems to grow as I grow older. Number seven on that list is speaking to a customer service rep who cannot answer my question. It’s kind of like an oxymoron. The whole point of asking a question is to receive a response. It’s impolite to not answer. And when a request seems unheard, it’s easy to feel ignored or insignificant.

When we go to God in prayer, we go expecting an answer. We desperately want to know that He hears us and that He cares. When we inquire about the deepest issues of our hearts, we need to know that there is an answer and that we will receive it.

Jesus promises that if you ask, you will receive. If you seek, you will find and if you knock, the door will be opened for you (Matthew 7:7). We have a promise that our prayers will be heard AND answered.

But what happens when the answers aren’t so clear? What do you do when what you’ve been fervently praying for doesn’t happen? This is what I call the “School of the Hard Knocks.” Typically that phrase refers to the knowledge you gain from life’s negative experiences. Here, it is the lessons we learn as we persistently ask, seek, and knock. It is the growth we experience as we wait for our prayers to be answered.

Waiting. There’s another item on my list of pet peeves. Possibly, number one. But it goes hand-in-hand with prayer.

We live in an “instant” society. I can send a message in an instant. I can prepare a meal in an instant (thanks to the handy dandy microwave). I can download music in an instant. No wonder we’re so accustomed to instant gratification. So accustomed, in fact, that we expect instant answers from God.

Let’s be clear. He can answer in an instant. He can answer before you even ask the question. But often there will be a delay between the time you ask and the time you receive. This is the time when our faith is tested and strengthened.

Sometimes before our prayer can be answered, we have to be changed. Perhaps when we are changed, the nature of our prayer request will also change.

God is working while we wait. Don’t stop asking or seeking. Keep knocking.

Remember, patience is made perfect in the School of the Hard Knocks.

© Aqualyn Toi Jones

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” ~John Maxwell

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