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Prayer Isn’t Aladdin’s Lamp – “Unanswered” Prayer

Prayer 10Key Bible Verse: We can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will.  – 1 John 5:14

Bonus Reading: Ephesians 3:20-21

A couple in our church phoned to ask me to pray about a house they wanted to close on. It was near a preferred school and the price was right. We prayed over the phone. Later their realtor called. Someone else had offered a higher price.

More than the deal collapsed. Faith crumbled too. The couple’s disappointment watered previously hidden seeds of doubt that God really cared for them.

We countered their crumbling faith by praying repeatedly that God would provide the best. Then we waited to see what God would do.

Two weeks later the local building inspector, also a friend of the home-searching family, called. In preparation for a loan approval, he’d inspected the house they wanted. It was full of dangerous mold and faulty wiring. Thousands of dollars would be required to make it safe. The family now realized that God had spared them from a financial disaster.

A home that provided for the family’s needs eventually became available. It wasn’t pretty on the outside, but the couple no longer doubted God’s care. Seeing how God had spared them from greater pain made them confident of His love and of the power of prayer.

—Bryan Chapell in Praying Backwards

My Response: A prayer experience that deepened my trust in God was …

Thought to Apply: The only time my prayers are never answered is on the golf course.—Billy Graham (evangelist)

Adapted from Praying Backwards (Baker, 2005).

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, focus my heart on seeking Christ’s purposes more than my own and on bringing Him glory.


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