‘God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Have you ever prayed one of those desperate “Help me Lord!” sort of prayers, and then instead of waiting for God to answer, just tried to help yourself?
Recently I was away on a much looked forward to mission trip with a team from my church. The day before we we due to go, I couldn’t find my passport, which also had the necessary visas in it. After a thorough search, I messaged some friends and asked them to pray. I also prayed. My prayer went something like this; “Lord you know exactly where my passport is, so I’m not going to panic, I’m just going to wait and trust you.” Immediately Psalm 46:10 came to mind “Be Still and know that I am God” For a few minutes I felt calm and peace flood my soul. “It’s going to be OK Lord, you’ll remind me where I put my passport”. So I waited. A whole minute. Maybe two.
And then I spent the next seven hours tearing the house apart! Searching. Praying. Searching. Praying. Becoming increasingly desperate as the hours ticked by.
At around 5pm I finally sat down, for the first time that day, and wept. There were no places left to search; I’d looked in them all at least three times. Then, in the quiet, a thought came to me: “what about that little blue travel wallet you bought the other week?”
I immediately dismissed the thought because I’d already looked there twice. But the thought grew so strong it was compelling. So I got up, went over to the place where I had seen that wallet and looked inside. It looked empty. Then I noticed a concealed zip compartment. With hope starting to rise, I unzipped it, and there was my passport!
Why had I not remembered that I had put it in there? I’d looked in the wallet twice, and had even impatiently shoved the wallet out of the way several times to look behind it!
The thing is, if had I just shut up for a few minutes; if I had just said to my pounding heart and racing thoughts, “shhh” – The Lord could have got a word in edge-ways! He had kept bringing that little blue wallet to my attention and I had merely glanced inside and tossed it aside, all the while praying increasingly desperately.
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us all along but we’re so busy trying to fix what we’ve asked God to fix that we don’t see it!
Or we’re making so much noise with our desperate prayers, that we drown out The Still, small voice of God as He answers us.
God always answers prayer!
Jeremiah 29:12 “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.”
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
John 14:13-14 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
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John Piper Desiring God
NLT Study Bible