You approach someone, ready to give him or her a high-five. Then, all of sudden, that someone’s hand doesn’t meet yours. Only to be left hangin’.
How do you feel? Abandoned? Ignored? By yourself? And eventually, you just stop giving high-fives entirely because you feel it just doesn’t work anyway.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have felt prayer to leave me hangin’. In fact, there have been prayers that I’ve lifted up during the past year that have yet to come to pass. So I just keep waiting for that other hand. A response. An answer. Sadly, I often find myself being content not to pray.
Maybe that’s why nearly every morning when I pull out my prayer journal I want to groan. Maybe that’s why nearly every night before bed I’d rather just fall asleep.
We often base the success of our relationship with Jesus on the fruit that we see instead of the fruit that’s still growing and requires our faith.
It encourages me to see my entire day changed because of a verse in my leather Bible.
I love to see blogs, devotionals, and sermon notes come together on a page.
You know how exciting it is to see the impact of an author’s writing or a pastor’s words on my heart.
And don’t even get me started on church! Talk about seeing God move!
But prayer doesn’t always work that way. We pray and hear no answer. No response. So we feel left hangin’ by God. And perhaps worst of all, we see no fruit. This causes us to ask questions like, “Is prayer worthwhile?”; “Why pray?”; “Does God even listen? Care? Have ears?”
“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not growing. Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful. We must walk by faith, not by sight.
Interestingly enough, sometimes the unseen fruit only lacks our faith in order to come into sight.
I love the story of Peter and John in Acts, Chapter 3. It is here where we find a crippled beggar outside the Temple. Unable to walk, this man is placed “…beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple” (Acts 3:2). Then, here comes Peter and John. The man asks these two disciples for some money, and Peter said, “’Look at us!’ The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!’” (V. 5-6). And he did!
I’m sure people had prayed for this man to be healed. In all likelihood, he prayed for himself. But I wonder if he would have never been healed had not a couple of disciples come along and used their faith in Christ to make the unseen fruit come into sight?
Do you pray with the faith that God Can or the faith that God Will?
I want to pray with more faith, fervency, and passion. I want to pray with the faith that if it be his desire, God will. This doesn’t mean we just get whatever we want; rather, it proclaims that we are walking by faith, not by sight.
Jesus says, “You don’t have enough faith. I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible” (Matthew 17:20).
True faith, a faith that says, ‘God Will,’ not only involves an all-possible God, it makes an all-possible you.
So does prayer leave us hanging? As much as we may wonder sometimes, I don’t believe it does. God definitely doesn’t leave us on our own. He never abandons us, ignores us, or refuses to hear our prayers. Instead, he just wants to develop our faith and trust in him.