In a world that is filled with foolishness Christian beliefs, unanswered prayers become commonplace. We ask but we do not receive. The responses vary. When it seems that God is not listening to our cries, unbelievers mock us by asking, “Where is your God”? On the other hand, many true believers suddenly begin to rebuke devils and make demands as though God were a genie rather than the Creator. Some then say that God does not hear our prayers, or worse, that God has no power to answer our prayers. Either way, the reaction is incorrect.
From the book of James, the Holy Spirit brings forth the following wisdom:
“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts,” (James 4:1-3).
We live in a nation of bloated and greedy people. Every man does what is right in his own eyes. God gives us, through the bible, the wisdom for living a healthy and good life. Yet we reject those words, over indulge in all that we do, and then expect miracles to deliver us from the consequences. For example:
I have developed high blood pressure. This is a direct result of my overeating and lack of exercise. Even secular wisdom acknowledges the root of this problem. So now, shall I go to God and ask that he deliver me of the high blood pressure so that I may continue to eat like a horse and lay about like a cat. Certainly not; that would be both arrogant and foolish. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
God has already provided me with the wisdom that will disperse the blood pressure problem. My prayer should be that God help me to find the will power to walk in moderation concerning matters of food and drink, and to take better care of this body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit. My answer lies in following through with the knowledge that God has already given me.
So many people suffer the same symptoms as do I. Yet they seem always to pray for healing without making any change in lifestyle. This is to mock God. It is like an adulteress praying that God give her a way out of her “bad” marriage, or a smoker praying that God heal his tar filled lungs, or a drunkard praying that God restore his liver even as the next drink curls his belly.
Perhaps a spendthrift prays that God make him to prosper. Have they not read these words: “Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness,” (Isaiah 55:2).
We understand the spiritual implications of this verse. Should we not also grasp the more simple fleshly relationships?
Turning Unanswered Prayers Into Joy
How do we redirect our prayers? What does it take to change the unanswered prayers of lust into the power prayers of faith?
The answer is as simple as submitting to the Lord. Recognize that foolish money management is a result of disobedience to simple bible truths. Acknowledge that over eating is a sin against your own body. Admit that adultery is not a permissible response to marriage trouble. Address the envy within your own heart. Stop defying the simple truths of Christian behavior as though God is anxious to answer the prayers of those who ignore his word. The Holy Spirit, writing through James, says it this way:
“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up,” (James 4:4-10).
It is not just the spirit that must be turned. We must learn to control this flesh, turning away from the deeper sins of pride, self-righteousness, hate, stealing, and taking God’s name in vain, but also turning away from those things that simply indulge a stubborn flesh.
Conclusion To A Cry For God To Listen When We Pray
Not all hardships are a result of foolish living. Trials sometimes come. Suffering is a part of life. As children of God, we must endure and preserver. At times, our prayers go unanswered for purposes that exceed our understanding. For prayers answered or for prayers unanswered, we give God the glory for every breath we take.
So check yourself. Let us stop chasing the secular rainbow. Let us seek those things that are holy and righteous. Let us stop mocking God. We cannot serve two masters.