In honor of the Easter celebration this week, we are going to depart from our series on conflict resolution. We are instead focus on a different type of communication —communicating through prayer. To be specific, we’re focusing on resurrection praying. Someone once said, “The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything.”
How true we’ve found those words to be in our own lives and others, as well!
We’re often asked at Marriage Missions to pray for marriages, especially through the Prayer Wall. And many who write, often ask why God hasn’t answered their prayers as they thought He would. To this we have to say, we honestly don’t know. These are questions we’ll ask God when we’re with Him in Heaven. All we know is that He is God and we are not. We also know there are some things that our human minds will never understand this side of Heaven.
But in keeping with Resurrection Sunday, we came across something to share with you that Anne Graham Lotz wrote. It can be found in her book “God’s Story … Finding Meaning for Your Life in Genesis.” It concerns this topic of prayer and resurrection praying.
On the Topic of Resurrection Praying, Anne Writes:
“Although God was actively involved throughout the Creation process, in the beginning the ‘earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep‘ (Genesis 1:2). If you and I had been present at the time to view the earth, we would have been able to see no outward, visible evidence of God’s activity at all. In fact, we might have had the impression that because we could not see any evidence of His activity, He was not doing anything. Yet at that very time, ‘the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters’ (Genesis 1:2). He was personally, invisibly, actively preparing Planet Earth to receive His Word. He was preparing it be transformed into a place of beauty and purpose. It would be a place that would reflect His image and bring Him pleasure.
“Whom are you praying for whose life is ‘formless’ —with no apparent purpose or meaning? Whom do you know whose life is ’empty’ —void of satisfaction and fulfillment? Is there someone you love who lives in the ‘darkness’ of depression or ignorance or confusion? Are you concerned for a friend (or spouse) whose life is like the ‘surface of the deep’ —undulating, unstable, always changing, and moody?
“Even though you have prayed without ceasing, have you seen no evidence of God’s activity in that person’s life? Have you therefore concluded that God is NOT active? Or that He has not HEARD your prayers? Perhaps He has heard you and He just doesn’t CARE? Or if He cares that He simply is UNABLE to do anything about it?
Concerning Resurrection Praying:
“Place your faith in the God of Creation! He cannot be less than Himself. And He is ACTIVE whether or not you and I can see evidence of His activity. In answer to your prayer of faith, the invisible, silent Spirit of God will move. He will hover over the heart, mind and will of your loved one, preparing him or her to receive His Word and thus be transformed.
“The Word the Spirit uses in your loved one’s life may be a passage of Scripture that you share with him or her. Or it could be something heard on radio or TV or in church. God is active, but He does not always act according to our time table. He is very patient. But don’t mistake His patience for inactivity. Understand that very often His activity is unseen.
“You and I must place our faith in the God of Creation Who is active in big ways, small ways, and unseen ways. Sometimes God tests and strengthens our faith by withholding evidence of His activity from us so that our faith is in Him alone. The men and women of God in the Old Testament were commended for faith that ‘is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.’
Our Praying Lord
“Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ but before His ascension, He spent forty days and nights, coming and going among His disciples. At one point, two of His disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus when suddenly Jesus appeared, walking with them. Then, just as suddenly when they broke bread together, He disappeared. At another time that same day, His disciples were gathered together in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. The windows were barred and the doors were locked. Suddenly Jesus was in their midst. Then just as suddenly He disappeared. Jesus appeared again suddenly to His disciples on the shore of Galilee after they had been out all night fishing.
“During the forty days when Jesus suddenly appeared to His disciples then just as suddenly disappeared, could it be He was teaching His disciples to live by faith? Whether or not they could see Him, He seemed to be teaching them to be confident He was actively present and involved in their lives.
“It’s important to realize that His involvement is always at His own initiative.”
God Answering Prayer
You and I will not always understand why God doesn’t answer prayer as we thought or in the timing we thought He should. But the Bible tells us that, “His ways are not our ways.” In this faith walk that we are traveling on this side of heaven, we are to trust our Creator that He is “working all things together for our good” because we love Him, and He loves us, and we fit in with His plans. We are to trust Him through our stretching experiences that there is a higher purpose for our times of waiting. And as His followers, we are to trust Him for the suffering we endure.
The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:13, “Rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers in Christ’s sufferings.” It’s not that we have to be gleeful, but we can be grateful that there IS a purpose and a resurrection story for everything that God allows to happen to us.
As Oswald Chambers wrote:
“If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what transpires in other souls so that you will never be surprised at what you come across.”
We pray this helps in some way and gives you a small glimpse into one reason God may be allowing certain things to happen. No matter what may be happening in your marriage and beyond, we pray strength for you.
This week (and beyond) as we celebrate the Resurrection, keep in mind:
“…The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:5-7).
Jesus Christ is risen! Hallelujah!
Cindy and Steve Wright
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