Does it seem that God isn’t answering your prayer?
By Kurt Bomar
Maybe Paul felt the same way.
Rom 15:30 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed.”
Paul requested prayer that he might be:
- Kept safe from the unbelievers
- Accepted by the believers in Jerusalem
- And that he would come with joy to Rome.
Was he protected? Acts 21 tells us he received a severe stoning from the Jews, saved only by a rescue by Roman soldiers.
Was he accepted? The believers themselves were the underlying reason for the stoning he received. Furthermore, they never thanked him for the offering he risked his life to deliver to them. Nor are there any hints he was attended to while in prison for two years in Jerusalem.
Did he come to Rome with joy? He didn’t exactly arrive on a cruise ship. He was in the galley of a slave ship under arrest.
It seems his prayers weren’t answered, but wait!
Was he protected? Yes. He was bloodied but he didn’t die. Was he accepted by the believers? Not initially, but they eventually did. We see Peter instructing the believers to listen to what Paul had to say. Did he make it to Rome? Maybe not the way he intended or hoped, but yes he got there and was received well.
We say, “Pray for me, I’m going through a tough time.” And although we pray with fervency, sometimes initially it seems like just the opposite of what we hoped for happens. Often times our prayers are being answered, we just don’t see the unique and beautiful way God is working.
Hang in there, time will prove that God is working in ways we can’t even imagine. The purpose and the power of prayer is to get the Lord’s blessing on your life, not to get your way in your life. In hindsight, the prayers Paul requested on his behalf were truly answered in the best possible way.
Selah (think about it)
Kurt Bomar is the pastor of Walnut Grove Church located in Avery County. You are welcome to join them on Sundays at 11:00 AM for worship! (When we are allowed to meet in the building again). You can read more Christian news from Kurt Bomar HERE.