Do you ever wonder why the Lord doesn’t seem to answer some prayers? Particularly the ones that relate to internal emotional turmoil or spiritual conflict?
Those prayers may sound like this:
“Dear Lord, please take my anger away.”
“Heavenly Father, please release me from my fears.”
“Almighty God, please make the demons stop tormenting me.”
Perhaps the apparent disconnect occurs because we tend to pray about what we want — the removal of symptoms. Jesus, however, seems to be concerned about what we need — resolution of the underlying problem. While He is quite capable of making the symptoms go away, He is gracious and loving enough not to provide a short-term solution that continues to leave us subject to ongoing deception or sin. Allow me to illustrate:
Have you ever had a really painful toothache? You ponder the options — and there is no way you’re going to no dentist, right? We know what that’s all about. Needles in your gums and people with their hands inside your mouth. The term “root canal” makes you shudder. But this toothache, it’s more pain than you can bear. So you drive to the local drug store and search the shelves till you find some Anbesol or something. You have no more than paid for this tube of pain killer when you bust it open, rub it in, and boom, the pain goes down. And you go on your way, able to convince yourself that you won’t have that pain again. You have what you wanted — removal of the symptoms.
But there’s a problem. You got an abscess growing in there! It’s not going away because you rub some brand-name ointment from Walgreen’s on it. Until you go to a dentist, you’ve got a black, rotting jaw just waiting to blow up. The underlying problem is much more serious and will ultimately be much more painful than the initial discomfort.
When I pray for folks, I tend to ask the Lord to give them what they need, not just what they want, and the wisdom to know the difference. it’s real hard to watch someone cover pain with something that makes them hurt even more. Please pray that our ministry will continue to help people to desire and pursue true healing.