Answered Prayers Aren't Always Pretty

Answered Prayers Aren't Always Pretty

What are your expectations when you pray?

Here are mine: instant answers; no discomfort.

But lately, I've noticed a different pattern.

Here's how it plays out.

I petition God with my "mild to moderate" issue. I expect the situation to get better. But then what happens? Everything explodes.

I pray for restoration in a relationship—that relationship suddenly goes south.

I pray for healing and deliverance—I fall flat on my face.

The results following my requests are anything but what I asked for. Or at least that's how it seems.

But, here's what I've come to realize—that answers to prayers aren't always pretty. At least not in the beginning.

Now, I can't say God responds 100% the same way every time. But here is what I have gathered. The issues we see on the surface go much deeper than we can comprehend.

When I compare my own plans for fixing a situation to God's, here are a few facts I know to be true:

  • His ways are not my ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
  • He's interested in doing deep, long-lasting work. Not a quick fix.
  • He will answer in such a way that I (and others) will know it was him.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 says: I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

Do you know where long lasting work begins? In the foundation of who we are—our hearts.

So even though we see our situation as needing a light renovation, God might see a faulty foundation. And if he does? Well, get ready. That's when he breaks out the wrecking ball. Because you have to get the foundation right before anything else can be added.

This work is slow. It's strategic. And let me tell you from experience, it is painful.

But you know, I've also noticed another pattern. That after the breaking down, there also comes a building up. It's still slow. It's still strategic. But, eventually you start to see something new emerge. Something that you never even considered.

The relationship that suddenly went south, begins to grow in ways you never expected.

The healing you asked for happens, but it began in places you didn't even know were broken.

It's only after the deep work has been addressed that God can begin to build up.

Have you recently prayed for something in your life and all hell broke loose? I know the wrecking ball does not feel good as it crashes into your walls, but take heart. God is working. It may just look differently than you expected.

The fix might not be quick.

It probably will hurt.

But in the long run, it it will result in your greater good and God's glory.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV)

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Meet the Author

Emily Miller

Emily Miller is the author of Verb Journal, a Christian lifestyle blog for women, and the owner of Christian clothing store, Verb Boutique. She is passionate about sharing the transformative effect of the gospel through writing and digital content creation. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading and continuous education, traveling or spending time outdoors with her husband, and pursuing any number of creative endeavors.

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