I am struggling with offering faith-filled petitions to my Father.
When Judson first died, I remember thinking that though our request for Jud’s healing on earth was denied, I would not have difficulty praying in faith for other various circumstances. Unfortunately, this has proven far more challenging than I expected.
It is not that my general prayer life has been stunted, I am often desperate to converse with God, but I am reticent to petition Him for anything wherefore I will know whether or not my prayer has been answered.
I’m afraid of being hurt and disappointed.
I came to my Father with the most significant request I expect I will ever make, partly out of obedience, and He painfully said “no”. Therefore, it is a fear of more pain that has been keeping me from requesting anything else of Him; He might say “no” again, and I’m not sure I can handle more disappointment.
Correspondingly, if I had approached my earthly dad with a meaningful request of significant value that I actually perceived he wanted me to ask of him, and then he denied my request, I would feel deflated, hesitant to make further requests, and it would affect my ability to trust him. My spirit feels similarly dejected and broken.
Yet, if I never again ask the Lord for anything, then it is impossible to taste the life-changing movement of His hand that can be experienced through answered prayer. Furthermore, we are called to make our requests known to Him, to engage Him at our deepest level of need.
So, what do I do?
Well, first and foremost, I think He understands. I don’t think God expects much more of me right now than to be honest and forthright about these difficulties. And just as I would do with my dad in the above hypothetical situation, I talk with God about my struggles and lack of understanding. I tell Him my fears. I ask Him to help me regain the trust necessary to beseech His intervention in this dark world. I also remind myself of the many prayers He has previously answered in my life, especially those that can be explained only by the work of His hand.
Therefore, with what little faith I can muster, I pray that, over time, even my prayer life will begin to heal.