Good job that some Prayer is not answered!
PRAYER for UCB No.7
3 min script
3 min script
When you start talking about prayer someone is always bound to ask, ‘What about prayer that doesn’t seem to get answered.’ Are they saying, ‘it’s not answered because it’s not what I wanted or expected.’ And of course we mustn’t forget that the answer could be ‘no’ or ‘wait’ or ‘that isn’t going to be answered because it’s the wrong prayer.’
I remember praying for a lady who said she was feeling very sick, I was young at the time, at least that’s my excuse, and I prayed, ‘Lord deliver this lady right now.’ Deliver is not a word I use very often and I’m not sure why I used it then. A few weeks later the lady came back to be and said, ‘I’m still being sick, but by the way, the doctor says it’s because I’m pregnant.’ I sent a very quick prayer of thanks to God that he hadn’t answered my prayer for deliverance; the baby would have been delivered very, very early!
In certain conversations I tend to switch off, I think, ‘if I start to answer this question I’m going to be here for a month, and they will be bored after 10 minutes, and what’s more it won’t be the answer they want, they only want a quick sound-bite.’ Part of the problem is our culture, but God does not fit into our expectations there.
Sometimes we just don’t understand, we might ask a good question, but we won’t get an answer even if the words make sense to us. When my youngest daughter was five, someone asked her a daft question, ‘Who are you going to marry?’ I was impressed with her answer, she said, ‘I’m going to marry my dad.’ What a great choice, I thought. But obviously a five year old could not comprehend the concept, and would not have understood if someone had said to her, ‘No that’s not how it works, as good looking as your Dad is, that is not the person you will marry.’
In the Old Testament there was a prophet named Habakkuk, who went into his tower and said, ‘I am going to pray to God for an answer and I am not coming down from this tower until I have the answer.’ God speaks to him about all sorts of things, and he eventually comes down from his tower. But guess what, the question he asked in the first place, the reason he locked himself away in the tower, that question never got answered. It’s almost as though God is too polite to say, ‘Sorry, daft question, answer not relevant, I wish you hadn’t asked.’ I’m glad that there are some questions he leaves unanswered, and there are also some questions I wish I had never asked.
In the New Testament it strikes me as funny that Jesus rarely gives a straight answer to a straight question. Often he answers a question with another question, or doesn’t answer at all, or answers in a strange way, for example, ‘show me a coin, whose head is that?’ In our culture we think we have a ‘right’ to an answer, to everything, all the time. ‘And make it short please, we don’t want to wait around and be bored, a sound-bite will be fine.’ Jesus does not fit into this mould.
I notice that in the bible people struggle with the answers that Jesus gives because their understanding doesn’t stretch to his concepts. Just like my five year old not understanding the concept that she couldn’t marry her dad.
So as you talk to God, do be prepared for a non-answer to some of those questions you ask. Maybe one day it will be clear, just not today. Rather like my daughter, when told she couldn’t marry her dad, replied with irritation, ‘Why not, I will if I want to.’ She now has a husband and three children of her own and I’m sure she now understands. And one day you will too.
for UCB 3 minute script
Editor A Brookes