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Bulletin Blurbs

“When Prayers Go Unanswered”- Fin

I have spent the last several months offering insights for us to consider when we feel that our prayers are going unanswered. We considered the role of other people’s free will in our prayer life. We looked at how our personal conviction and persistence will play a part in the ability of our prayers to be answered. We looked at how our prayers can help each other and how when we pray as a Church, we can accomplish remarkable things.

My hope was to get us to realize that it is very seldom God’s desire to outright disregard or say no to our request. Far too frequently we blame God for our prayers being unanswered, or harbor resentment against “His will” that led Him to leave our prayer unanswered. This is not the case. God’s will is in existence, but often God’s will is left changed, damaged, or rejected by other factors that we looked at. There are parts of God’s will that are immutable (such as His prescribed victory, the plan of salvation, and the hope of heaven), but there are some parts of God’s will that can be affected for the better or for the worst (1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9). There are things that are settled and things that are left open.

This is where the beauty and power of prayer are seen. In many ways, we are engaging with God to change the outcome of tomorrow for the betterment of the Kingdom. There will be sometimes when we will experience smashing victories, and there will be times when we will experience crushing defeats. But through the highs and lows, we are doing it with God.

So when prayers are left unanswered, do not allow it to defeat you. There is always the next day that could be changed and altered by you and God. The war is not lost, even when the battle is.

--Bishop Darby

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Good morning!

Once again, I’m happy that all of you are here this morning! As you read this, I am likely in Henderson, Tennessee for the annual FHU Lectureship. I look forward to seeing you in person again this time next week! It’s always an encouraging thought to know that, though I’m 716 miles away, we’re both worshipping the same God on the same day. Though we’re apart, we’re all part of the same family.

It’s hard to believe we are already a month into this New Year. It seems like every February, I have that overwhelming feeling that time really goes by too quickly. I want to express what we discussed last Sunday at our youth devotional. Often in our New Year, we discuss new beginnings and how, if the last year was not our best, we can “turn over a new leaf” this New Year. Well, now we’re 1/12 into the year 2014, and my guess is we’ve all fallen to a sin or temptation at some point. We’ve all proved that we aren’t perfect. Luckily, God does not measure time in years, months, weeks, etc. like we do. We always have the opportunity to change for the better.

David, after being confronted by Nathan for his sin with Bathsheba, wrote the 51st Psalm. In verses 10-12, he prays this: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

We, like David, can and should pray this prayer. Unfortunately, we are imperfect. We have a Heavenly Father who understands that, and sent his perfect Son to die for us, so that we have a chance to come back to him, have our hearts made clean, and have our spirits renewed, not at the start of each new year, but whenever it is needed. Isn’t it a blessing to be a child of God?!