Many prayers have I prayed. And, I’m yet to receive the asking of my prayers. Does the Bible not say to ask and it shall be given unto you?
Now, many other prayers have I also prayed but received the asking of those prayers. The Bible teaches to ask and it shall be given unto me. Many times have I exercised my asking and received as promised. Which is great, but, I’m not focused on all that I’ve received.
You see, I am focused on what I am yet to receive.
Show mercy in your judgment of me, I’m human and I want stuff. I am grateful for the prayers that have been answered. I am. But, what about those things that I’ve prayed for, for years, not four years but for yeeaarrrsss and it’s still pending, what about those? Like a kid waiting for Santa, I keep looking out the window, asking, is it here, is it here, is it here yet?
A brand new Porsche! right? that would be sweet! Just marvelous! Imagine if I paid the whole thing in cash, I mean look at this guy, I watched this video six years ago, it took me two hours to find the video again. His wife could care less but the guy is over the moon! I mean, look at the guy!
Besides wanting a beautiful car or cars, I have also prayed countless times (and continue to) for other requests, requests to make life sweeter, prayer requests more substantial than a beautiful new Porsche whip.
I started believing in prayers from an early age. I grew up in a praying church. Let me tell you. I grew up in a church where kids rolled up in pews, took a glorious nap, in the midst of adults loudly unburdening their hearts to God. You know prayer warriors? my parents, in my early days, were prayer warriors. And, the few times I was sick, they didn’t just give medication, no. It was prayer, and anointing oil and medication. I grew up going to all night of prayer — Night Vigil. Prayer has always been a part of my life and as I went on into the world to find my ground and to make my mark, I took all I had learned from my parents, with a few clothes and some spending money and leapt into faith. Prayer was one of them.
Around the time I turned 25, I began to realize I prayed for the same thing week after week. The request I prayed for last week, was the same from the week prior. In fact, I have been praying for this same request since I was sixteen! Why haven’t I received it? Am I praying correctly? Because, I do want it, I will be good to it — take care of it, I will be good with it, but why don’t I have it, still?
So, we have prayers that were answered — thank God, we have prayers that have not been answered yet — when God? and, one more. Prayers that were not answered and I’m glad were not answered. These are prayers I did not receive but happy to have not received.
Each time we pray, especially in my younger years, when I prayed, it was based on what I knew and wanted at that moment. Time, then, would later reveal whether what I had hoped and prayed for would have been best for me, or not. Have you had moments like that? maybe you wished to marry your 8th grade teacher but now that you’re older you realize you’re glad you didn’t marry an already married 8th grade teacher, who would be 50 now while you’re just 19.
For me, some of my prayers were not kind requests to wish on anyone — what would you gain if all their teeth fell off, because they were mean to you?
— where would you be today if you had deviated from God’s path for your path?
As age came on, I understood how I viewed prayer was not proper.
Sometimes, it’s good we don’t get what we’ve asked for.
Other times we’d give what we have, to get that which we’ve asked for.
Anyways, who focuses on answered prayers, right? or even those prayers that were correctly unanswered, right? or those blessings you received but didn’t know to pray for, right? No one. Maybe, we should, but not right now.
Let’s focus on the main thing — prayer requests that should have been answered but sees to dwell on the back burner. Prayers on God’s time as opposed to my human limited years time.
I believe it was Job that cried out to God to remind God he (Job) did not have the pleasure of living everlasting. He is a man with very limited number of years compared to God’s infinite existence — so maybe help him now, that he is still alive?, save him now, that he can still praise God?, call off the suffering and restore him now, that he could still share his testimony?
We could say, that Job sensed God’s timing sometimes takes much longer, than we humans can prepare for. And maybe, just maybe, reminding God of our humanity might bring the delivery date a little bit closer to human time.
What do you do when you want, ask and don’t receive? For some of us, we continue to ask because that’s what we know. We continue to pray for the same thing, which shows a continued faith — we believe we will soon receive what we’ve prayed for and we still believe God will do great things in our lives. So, even if we have not received yet, we continue to pray.
But, what if we stopped praying? I mean, what if we stopped asking for the same stuff over and over? while maintaining our continued faith that we believe we will soon receive what we’ve prayed for and we still believe God will do great things in our lives?
How do we do that? Simple. Instead of repetitive praying, I should be praise-ing. Giving thanks to God for all that He has done.
In my life, it came down to a series of simple questions, starting with a simple understanding.
Pray. Ask and believe you’ve received, then you’ll receive. Alright.
Pray. Make your requests known to the Father. Ok, I understand that too.
Did I pray? Yes.
Does God require reminding? No.
Did God forget? No.
Is God’s time the best? Uhm. *scratch my head
Is God’s time the best even though I won’t live forever? Uhm.
With the things that’s happened in your life and their timing, was God’s time better than your timing? Yes.
Is God’s time the best even though I won’t be alive forever? Yes.
Is God’s time the best? Yes.
Is God’s timing always the best? Yes.
Do you want what you want? No.
Do you want what God has for you? Yes.
Do you want what God does not have for you (right now)? No.
Do you want what God does not have for you (period)? No.
Do you want only what God has for you? Yes
Is God’s time the best? Yes.
Well, end of statement. And, just like that, I stopped praying like I was taught and started praising. I stopped asking excessively, because God does not require reminders and I started thanking obsessively.
But, this was Eight years ago! Praising over repeated prayer was insight from almost a decade ago. We are here today, not only for this insight but because of what I understood yesterday.
Yesterday, I had a superb realization. Though, I now know to praise instead of repeat prayer requests — I still sometimes think to remind God of those requests, in prayer. Because, not receiving does not mean I stopped wanting. That it is delayed, doesn’t mean it’s denied.
I still sometimes pray, asking for what I still want, what I’ve always wanted and what I have yet to receive. Not every time, but sometimes when it’s tough to fathom why not now, why not last year, why not five or eight or ten years ago? I would pray, casting all my burdens on His feet.
Anyways. Yesterday, superb realization. I’ll share with you so we both know and we can both carry on with our day.
Do you know prayer is important? yes you do. Of course you do. Churches don’t pray as often anymore but that is their loss. Do you also know God knows what’s good for you? Alright. Do you know God knows your wants, needs and desires? Perfect.
Before we go deeper, I’ll share this — from two years ago:
March 24, 2021:
When you are in a dark room, you can only guess where the door is but really you do not know (yet).
While looking for that I found this gem:
God allow things to happen to us, not because they’re good or bad but because they serve a purpose.
I bring up the March 24 writing to make a point. You see, while we are in this world, in this flesh, we do not know. Majority of the things we say are thoughts we’ve absorbed from someone else. Everything we think we know about most things, that knowledge we met here on earth. Everything. However, acknowledging my not knowing, allows me to know that I do not know — and make no claims to know.
Even things in our modern day, we know very little, next to nothing. Things before our time, we don’t really know what’s what. Things during our time we barely know what’s what. Things after our time we do not know. Outside of what we’re told, what we do know is what we have, what we feel, what we see and what we can think.
Truth and Fact, as of five years ago, are no longer the same thing. Spin and Meaning are not the same thing. Marketing and Want are not the same thing anymore. You used to market to people what they wanted, what they request for, was what you market to them. Now, you market to people what they should want. Today, current day, let’s leave the old days, today you can see something in front of you while a computer program changes the said thing, right in front of your face and you don’t see it changing. I’m not talking about cut and paste. Right in front of your face! You understand, what you see, is not what you’re seeing.
We do not know. It is all a dark room.
Conficious, paraphrasing, says knowledge is knowing (the extent) you don’t know. When I studied the life of Socrates years ago, Socrates would say “I know nothing” — this is my favorite. The wisest man of his time would first hear out who was in front of him, seeking knowledge from that person before he, Socrates, would offer a suggestion.
We don’t know what part of history is really true. Don’t ball up your fist, stay focused. We do not know. In our current age, we can barely keep a straight story. Look at our education, the history being taught to our kids is very different from the history we know/were taught. So again, while someone might want to claim this or that, it is all a dark room. Humans cannot stop themselves from interfering with the Divine. Humans cannot stop themselves from self imposing unto the Sacred.
We do not know but at least we can know that we don’t know.
The issue with the modern day economist at the time of his research, according to author Nassim, was that they did not know to the extent that they did not know — they had no clue about uncertainty. Psychologists had to come save them. But the economists would write these humongous research papers and engage in tense debates displaying brilliance, confident in what they think they know. Unfortunately, time would later tell they knew not what they know and they know not to the extent that they knew not.
What does all this have to do with prayer? I’m getting there. How does unanswered prayers relate to Economists and Da Vinci and Marketing and dark rooms? Don’t worry, I’m drawing the line.
Drink some water and understand my point. There is a ton we do not know and a bigger ton we would never know. We suffer a bias to stand next to our idea babies and would die before we allow anyone separate us from our ideas.
Everything you’ve been told, taught and read is a suggestion.
We don’t know what holds the stars and keeps them all from falling down, we don’t know what suspends the earth with no pillars, we dont know how creation came to be, we know what the Bible says, we know what the Scientists say, we dont know why the ocean goes thus far and stops, you don’t know why one plant is edible and the other is not, you can explain from morning till night about some findings and research and relativity, you can talk about this, that and the third but you really don’t know. I don’t either.
Atomic bomb is a thing, I’m watching Oppenheimer right now, so yes, I agree humans have certain knowledge, humans can do certain things with said knowledge but actually, there is a ton of stuff we don’t know about the world and Life itself. It’s absurd that people have died for hundreds of years over differing ideology. Even Oppie knew that he didn’t know (if the ABomb unending split could be the end of all humanity).
We know what we prefer and what we want to associate with and we should have the option to live as we prefer without interference from differing ideologies and without hinderance to differing ideologies. But, that would be in a perfect world, which we don’t live in. We live in a world where humans always finds a way to interfere with differing processes for the battle of the ultimate ideology.
What am I saying? It is ALL a suggestion.
From what you read, to what you hear, to what you sing, every call to action, every prompt to action, every thought preceding an action is only a suggestion. You can choose to engage or not engage, you can choose to believe or not believe. What’s my point? When it comes to designing a life for yourself, you have zero clue what would be good for you in the future.
You might know what would harm you, what to stay away from but rarely do we know with certainty what to wish for. Why? it’s a dark room. Life, knowledge, is a dark room.
No one knows tomorrow. We can guesstimate — where the light switch is, but we really don’t know. So while you make plans, find humility in knowing for a substantial part of your plans, you do not know what you’re talking about.
You know what we do know? You know what I know? I did not create this, you did not create this. No one alive today created the world. No one can replicate this. Humans might form policies to establish societies but we are not the Creator. This perfection is the creation of God. And, He is worthy of my praise for the life He’s given me and the magnificence of His work.
Want what God has for you, as opposed to what you want for you. Because, He knows.
While we might not know the origin of who compiled the books of scripture into the Bible, we don’t have to know. And just the same way hundreds of years from now, nobody would personally know you or personally know me. Doesn’t make me, you or your text messages less real. Hence why having a personal relationship with God is most important. Know Him for yourself, not because of the Church but in addition to Church. Not because of the Bible but in addition to the Bible.
It is all a dark room and can seem baffling and tough — if you’re doing life by yourself, in your own strength. But while I might not see in the dark room, guess what? I could still hear. I could still feel. I can still touch. I can still hear from Him who made me. He, who is ever with me. He, who created me. He, who knows my beginning from my end and my end from my beginning. I, in my own power might not know tomorrow. I, in my own strength might not know where the light switch is, but Jesus is the Light and nothing is hidden from the sight of God. Know Him for yourself, not because of Church but in addition to Church. Not because of the Bible but in addition to the Bible.
I made all of that analogy, to make this point.
While everything is a suggestion, I need God much more to direct my steps. Because human stories and taught histories continue to change, to match the societal climate of the time, I need God even more because He alone is the Truth. While I might not know the intentions of man towards me, I can spend my time in prayer and my days in praise, dedicating my life to walk the path God has for me, wanting nothing more. Know God for yourself, not because of Church but in addition to Church. Not because of the Bible but in addition to the Bible.
There is a whole lot that I do not know, there is even more that I do not care to know. That I would not be remembered in 200 years doesn’t make this writing less real. In a world full of uncertainty, a world marked with enormous manipulations of the flesh, I need God. You get?
Alright, that was a mouth full but with this understanding let’s get back on track. See things differently.
Do you know, prayer is important? yes you do. Of course you do. Churches don’t pray as often anymore but that is their loss. Do you also know God knows what’s good for you? Alright. Do you know God knows your wants, needs and desires? Perfect.
Now, check this:
When we pray, we are to ask for what we want. We are to also put in effort to become a better person. A person that can properly care for that which we’ve prayed for. We are to believe God will bless us with what we want but ultimately, since we are not following God just because of what He can do for us, since we are in a relationship with the Father and not just mere takers — we will still bless the Lord even though He does not bless us with what we want. Did you follow that?
The realization then is this:
Pray for what you want. Yes, make your supplication known. Give praise for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do. So, prayer to ask, then praise over prayer. After this — your following prayer should not be one of asking the same thing over and over but your following prayer should be one of Sustenance.
What matters to me, me — Stephen, what matters to me is a good life, walking the path God has for me — that’s it. I want a good life, a simple life, a good simple life. Alright. A good simple life. Ok. Ok.
While I can pray for this, that and the other, pray for a beautiful respectful wife, obedient kids, just enough wealth but not too much, good health, to be a good person, generous in every occasion, to not lose my way with God, to be a blessing to someone else, to help people, while the wants of man is endless and I can pray for heaven and earth, oh and a Porsche too, don’t forget the Porsche — it’s ok to want things, it’s human and expected. However, what actually matters — you know keeping the main thing, the main thing — what actually matters to me is living a good life. A good simple life. Not what I think I want, but living a good life. Therefore, my prayer, first, is about my wants, making the ask. After which my subsequent prayers is that God sustains me now till when He decides to bless me with what I’ve prayed for and pray that God continues to sustain me thereafter.
So, you want a house.
First, pray for a house, you make the ask.
Second, you praise for the house, while you wait. No need to continuously pray for a house. You asked already, believe and praise instead.
Third, when you do pray, you pray for sustenance. That God sustains you in your waiting.
The add on of praying for sustenance is most important because while we pray, when we pray, we should at the back of our minds, know and remind ourselves that as we pray, we’re asking with a huge BUT before and after our prayers. We learn this from Jesus. He asked for the cup to pass Him by, because it is human to want, to need, to ask, to pray. But it is divine to know that not my will but God’s will be done. I’m asking that you live more divine than human.
We pray with a caveat! With the fine print that, you are asking of these things, based on all your wisdom at this time. Because it’s all a dark room, we don’t know! Not everything you think is good for you, not everything you pray for, is in fact good for you. Only God knows what’s truly good in its entirety. So you’re praying with the fine print that if what you’re requesting for would not be good for you, it’s ok for the request to be ignored. You’re also praying with the understanding that even if what you’re asking for does not happen, you will still worship God because you’re not a freeloader.
It stops being about how I speed dial the Heavens’ Hotline, made my order. Then sat at the parking lot waiting forevermore for an Angel to bring me my heart desires. It stops being about pending prayer requests that I’m still waiting on, it stops being about unanswered prayers that were right to remain unanswered, it stops being about my wants and needs and pride and ego and brilliance and desire and foolery, it stops being about prayers motivated by the many different ways flesh can be manipulated, it stops being about you and starts being about what is good for you.
My biggest concern two weeks ago was to not lose my way before I receive what I’ve hoped for. But if God sustains me, providing for me all that I need for a good life in Godliness, I should be just alright and happy whenever (hopefully not an hour longer) I receive that which God has for me.
So, ask for sustenance in your waiting. Expect sustenance as you exercise patience for when patience is done with its works you will want for nothing, because then you’d have received what you wanted.
May God sustain you, and sustain me in our days of waiting and may we see the goodness of God in the land of the living, in Jesus name, Amen. Here, is a passage to find comfort.
We should end it here, yeah? sounds good to me.
God is not far. Your victory is not denied. You will win. God knows.
Hang in there. Add a little smile. Chin up and face front.