Have you prayed and found you have not been answered in the way you prayed? This is quite a common experience for many people: it has certainly been the case for me. So, what went wrong?
In most cases, nothing went ‘wrong’; it’s just that our prayers were answered in a different way to the way we expected. As a result, we can feel like there is no God, because He didn’t answer my prayer. If we pray for the benefit of another person, and the answer goes in the opposite way to our prayers, then this can be especially hard to understand.
God has thoughts of peace for us
In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you’, says the LORD, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’” This seems to contradict some of our experiences: God has thoughts of peace for us, but we didn’t come to this following our prayers. Perhaps the motive in our prayer wasn’t so good: maybe there was some selfishness in what we asked? Even so, God doesn’t change His thoughts toward us - He still has thoughts of peace and wants us to have a future and a hope.
Seek God for help in prayer
In verses 12-13 we read, “‘Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found of you’, says the LORD…” Jeremiah was speaking these words to a nation that was in captivity. We also are ‘in captivity’ to our own sin. When we recognise this fact we can seek God for the help we need in order to be set free from this sin.
Think to be liberated from all anger and irritation so we become patient! Able to help another: to have no more demands on family members, or other people! Instead to show love and goodness, serving others for their good. We need to be taught how to do this (another good prayer to pray): to no more use my tongue to blaspheme, blame or curse God and people, but to come to a quiet spirit filled with thankfulness and good words to say. There is much glory to come to when we no longer live according to the sin in our own nature.
Our future and hope
Jesus was the first one to live this life! From His own experience He says to His disciples, and to all that want to come to the same freedom from sin, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you that you should go and bear much fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you.” John 15:16
God wants us to bear fruit! That is our future and our hope.