Where is God when I pray?
One of the biggest points of struggle in my relationship with God has been answer to prayer, and in this, I know I’m not alone.
At New Wine this year, we saw some amazing healings, we saw several people walk freely again where before they had needed a stick or crutches and, among other things, I saw a lady get her sight back from being registered blind; the last time I saw her, she was trying to give her white stick away.
It was wonderful… amazing… extraordinary. The work of a very real, loving God who has a real and intimate desire to make our lives right and to make us whole.
I’ve prayed my own prayers, and, against all odds, God has come through with resolutions to situations that seemed impossible. He has filled my life with love and delight, my cup really does overflow.
But I’ve also prayed in situations when I was sure, oh so sure that God was going to make it right, make me better, make someone else better, resolve the conflict… you name it I’ve prayed it at some time… and God has sometimes seemed inexplicably silent.
But I know he’s not a silent God, nor an unloving God. I know He loves me, I know he really is all powerful…
I highly recommend Peter Greig’s book ’God On Mute’, an extraordinarily honest account of his and his wife Samie’s fight, initially for her life and later for a positive outcome after diagnosis of a debilitating brain tumour … I read about Peter and Samie’s ongoing battle with her illness, and with God’s response to their prayers for her recovery. There were times when answer to prayer seemed starkly absent, but there were also times when palpable change in a given situation was immediate and astonishing. For them, the battle, both spiritually and medically would appear to be ongoing. And yet in spite of the set-backs, Peter and Samie appear to be clear: in their lives, God is real, ever present, loving and all powerful.
Peter mentioned that even in the most desperate times when they were imploring God for seemingly unforthcoming results, there was peace. God’s love. His presence.
And then there’s Nick Vujicic, who was born completely without arms or legs. He suffered humiliation, bullying and a sense of hopelessness. He was suicidal at the age of ten and who can blame him? But when God breathed on him, his life was changed… Nope, still no arms or legs… but read the book, see the Youtube clips, listen to the guy speak… He was most certainly set free through the power of Jesus Christ. His healing took another form, but it was just as real.
And also, looking back at some of the times when Kevin’s and my son, James, was very ill as a baby, when we felt frightened, exhausted and totally deserted by God; it was some years later that we were able to look back and recognise that at those times when life seemed impossible, He was actually taking extraordinary care of us, bringing amazing people and extraordinary situations to help us through until James became the healthy chap he is much closer to being today.
This is a bit of a big issue to try addressing in my blog so please forgive me, but this is the point I’ve come to at the moment:
… What if when we pray, it simply allows God to pour His Holy Spirit upon us? To breathe on us. So there is always an answer, because although he might not press the button that makes the problem go away, His breath will do something. Whether it be to ease pain, open doors, bring peace, bring healing or simply bring the reassurance of His presence. The more we pray, the more Breath comes.
And that breath does more than make the difference that will make suffering endurable, it makes the difference that will set us free.
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