I've prayed a million prayersHonestly though, very few times has God provided what I've asked for. Which is not to say that all of my prayers were out of necessity, because I've definitely prayed some shallowed prayers in my life but yesterday as I was asking God for some help and struggling with fully trusting Him, I began doubting my own faithfulness.
Although there have been many times I've doubted God, this was not one of them.
This time I was doubting myself.
The gospel's are peppered with instances of Jesus telling His disciples how little faith they have when they don't quite succeed and it made me wonder if this is the same attitude that Jesus had towards me and my prayers. In reality, it wouldn't be unwarranted my faith does waver at times but is that effecting the effectiveness of my prayers?
I began to wonder if my lack of faith was rendering my prayers ineffective, and that was a scary thought.
But faith is a gift from God.
Faith was is something that I can muster up on my own wits to get my prayers answered, it is something only God can grant.
My fear and my doubt were wholly fueled by my false conception that my faithfulness was something that I gained of my own right, instead of as something that the spirit has blessed me with. It makes me think of the father in Mark 9 who so desperately wants healing for his possessed son.
"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes." Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe help me overcome my unbelief," Mark 9:23-24
Jesus does say that all can be accomplished through faith, but that doesn't mean we can't trust Him to provide that as well.
I began to trust God's faithfulness rather than my own.
Yesterday I prayed the prayer of that father over and over again trusting that God's faithfulness was enough to make up for my lack of it.
My prayers and petitions were still left un-granted by God, at least for now anyways, and with some wisdom from a wonderful article in RELEVANT Magazine (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/testimonies-not-yet-healed) I realized that it is okay.
Sometimes God doesn't give us all that we ask for, which is probably for our own good and sometimes He builds patience by granting gifts in His own time.
But regardless of whether or not God gives me what I ask, no matter how necessary it seems, He is faithful, loving and glorious all the same!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," Jeremiah 29:11