These last 2 weeks of our women’s prayer study are Q&A nights.
Here are 2 questions we addressed this week:
Question: Is there a difference between the prayers of new believers vs. mature believers? Do mature believers pray “better”?
Answer: The main difference is the depth of knowledge and intimacy between that person and God. Think about what it is like when you meet someone for the first time. You ask questions and spend time getting to know that person before you feel close to them. I think it’s the same way with God. As we are introduced to Him, we spend time getting to know Him and learning who He is- his character, qualities, principles, etc. As we grow in our knowledge and understanding of who He is, our prayer life deepens, we are able to recognize His voice, and respond in obedience back to Him.
As Christians, I don’t ever think it’s okay to just sit back and be stagnant in our faith. Our faith should constantly be growing. When it comes to prayer, I constantly feel challenged to pray more and connect with God more intimately. I don’t ever expect to get to a place where I don’t need to learn more in this area- God is constantly teaching me more! Maturing in our faith is a vital part of our relationship with God.
I Cor. 3:1-3, Heb. 5:11-14
Question: Why do some prayers go unanswered? How do you explain to a new believer that some prayers are left unanswered?
Answer: I think all prayers are answered(whether it’s by action or silence), just sometimes not the way we want or expect. As long as we are alive on this earth I think there will be situations in our lives that we won’t understand and won’t be able to explain. In those moments we can only trust in who God is and know that He is in control whether or not we understand it. The more we mature in our faith, the better we are able to accept what we don’t understand or outcomes we don’t like.
In saying all that, there are things we can evaluate in our own life if our prayers are consistantly unanswered:
-Alignment- We should evaluate our motives and our hearts. God may be waiting for our hearts to be in the right place to accept what we’re asking for.
– Gratitude- He may be withholding something from us so that our appreciation will be deepened when we are given what we’ve asked for.
– Disobedience- He may be waiting for us to first do what He has already asked us to do. We can see throughout Scripture where God removed his hand from those who disobeyed Him. Ex. I Sam. 28:15-18
– God’s will/timing- We may just be asking God for something that is simply not His will and He’s not going to change his mind. Other times it may just be a timing issue.