sometimes i get the most random emails…like today:

“i just wanted to know what you do if you think a prayer isn’t getting answered.


his name wasn’t really jim-bob…but anyway…

it made me smile. and glad that i do what i do. and then i realized i actually had to reply with an answer. tricky. so here’s what i put:

“hmmm…good question…

sometimes i get discouraged and stop praying. i don’t think that’s a very good answer, though.

sometimes i just keep on praying. God’s got this whole sovereignty thing going for him (which means he always knows everything and, well, i don’t), which means sometimes the timing is different than i think it should be or the answer is different than i think it should be or, well, a lot of things could be different than i think they should be…and keeping the “prayer train” chugging allows for God to show me one of these things.

and sometimes, as Mother Theresa noted, i realize that i need to be the answer to my own prayer. maybe i’m praying that God would speak to a friend’s heart about who he is and it turns out i’ve never even bothered to share who God is with this friend. and so, while i keep praying, i also take some action to line my life up with the words i say in my prayers.

not all of those apply all the time…just some things i think sometimes. hope that helps…”

any thoughts on this? better answers for a middle schooler who’s trying to sort out prayer (or a middle school youth pastor trying to sort out prayer)?


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