Why Unanswered Prayers are Important

Currently, I’m reading a book on unanswered prayer by Pete Greig called “God on Mute.” I’m loving it! I came across this quote that I had to share… “In spite of all the advances in technology and increased life expectancy, there is an extraordinary fragility to our generation. We collapse easily, our marriages fall apart, and we are quick to take offence. In our celebrity-obsessed world that is cosseted away from death and anaesthetized against pain, we need to be reminded that it’s normal to have problems, get sick, experience financial challenges and face relational breakdown. Jesus promises us, “You will have trouble” (John 16: 33), but not many of us stick that verse on the fridge. Instead, when we encounter setbacks, we feel betrayed. We ask, “why me?” as if such things should not beset a follower of Christ. As if we should be immune from the diseases that afflict our neighbors.

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“One of the problems, ironically, can be prayer. In prayer we set our hopes high and call it faith and pray for the perfect spouse, healthy children, successful careers and serene families. We don’t just wish for these things but actually train ourselves to expect them! We fear the worst if we should ever lower our sights. Yet this is false faith. The apostle Paul longed not just “to know Christ and the power of his resurrection” but also “the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings” (Phil. 3: 10). The Christian witness, and our ultimate hope, is not merely a miraculous succession of miraculous escapes from all human affliction. Rather it is the joy of a deepening relationship with the “man of sorrows familiar with suffering” (Isa. 53: 3) who loves us and lives in us. “I’m not suggesting that we should pray for hard times but rather that when such times come, we should feel a little less outrage and a lot more hope because Jesus, who went through similar struggles, predicted that we would have them and promised to be with us in the midst of them.” Greig, Pete (2011-04-07). God on Mute: Engaging the Silence of Unanswered Prayer (Kindle Locations 1567-1580). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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