Unanswered Prayer is God’s Gift

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Have you ever asked the question, why doesn’t prayer work? Why at times does it appear that God ignores us when we pray to Him. Many have prayed for God to intervene and solve a problem that they are struggling with, but sometimes God‘s apparent answer is silence. If God answers your prayers He is increasing your Faith, if He doesn’t He is training your patience.


When you hit a certain level of prayers over the same situation and not seeing a change, it will eventually make you step back and ask yourself if it’s going to happen. There are other people who apply for a particular job in their field but don’t receive an update on their application. Sometimes, these unanswered questions are a blessing in disguise. Imagine asking for something that you thought would benefit you, but behind closed doors, it was not the right thing for you.

“Even sweet things can kill” (African Proverb). 

When you take sweets off a child that has eaten 5 packets, they cry, but the child does not know that the mother is protecting their teeth and health. Sometimes, we want all the nice things, but behind it, we don’t know the depth of consequence it will provide. Look back over your life today, and ask yourself what sort of expectations you planned to achieve, and write the ones you received and the ones you didn’t. Compare them and see which expectations were met the most. 2016 has been such a blessing; there are things I did not even put effort in that I received, and this is not to say I am perfect, because I am not. It’s just that my Faith at the time was being tested and had to show God that I really trusted Him to see me through, and He really did show up.

What are you asking for today? A new job? A business opportunity? A new level of Peace? A long-term relationship? To maintain family unity? To be a missionary? These are great blessings, but what do you do when you do not see it come to fruition? Do you give up? Do you throw in the towel? Yes, I know how it feels, do not misunderstand me, but have you come to realise that God could be testing your motives behind it all What about your patience? How do you handle rejection when you have failed continuously? In other words, why not make rejection teach you a lesson to aim higher and divert your original plans to something more effective? The rejection you receive today should not be repeated tomorrow if you really want to see a change in your life. You would make an intentional decision to renew your mind, reflect and ponder on what you want to do.

So this is the structure that I usually take and would like to share it with you:

  • PLAN – What decisions have you made today in planning a better tomorrow?
  • PACE – How quick are you determined to meet your plans to make it come to reality?
  • POSITION – Your mindset and character should be positioned in a positive mode where you are able to see yourself at where you desire to be.

When you plan your goals whether personal or professional, you are more likely to run with the vision and set yourself in a high league where you can attain them. But, if the goals do not come to pass, you plan something else, and see if that works, (maybe trial and error). I would rather work hard and fail to know that I tried to attempt something than to think about the vision and not do anything about it, because at least I can say I’ve learnt from my mistakes. It is not enough to say you are you’re striving to achieve anything because you remember the times you’ve failed. That is not breaking out of your comfort zone, and at times this could be one of the reasons why our goals are not being met. We are far too comfortable with what we have, that we build our bed there and stay because we are afraid to branch out of our comfort.

Apply this in your workplace today; some employees do not feel motivated enough to go to work, some go to make money and pay bills, others go to develop their career and others for promotion. Regardless of your motive, how do you handle the workload in your position? If you want that promotion in your job, how do you handle people also? Are you not aware that people are watching you knowingly and unknowingly? It would feel unfair for someone who started off as an Entry Level Marketing Analyst and promoted to a Senior Marketing Analyst in 6 months, whilst someone who has been in the company for 3 years+ is still in the same position of an Entry Level Marketing Analyst. What do you think the person who was promoted to a senior role did with their time? I would assume self-encouragement and motivation, persistence and hard work that initiated the promotion.

We want the promotion, the title, the name, but are not willing to put in the effort. The way I see it, what you put in is what you will get out. It is a waste of time envying someone else’s progress. All the energy you used to do this could have been used to invest in yourself and become better, but instead, you chose to allow your feelings to control you and make you bitter.  So when you see your goals not being met, know that it is God working on your patience, your heart, and your attitude towards rejection. How you handle someone else’s success will determine how your own success will look like. If you are not happy for people when they are going up, don’t expect others to be happy for you.

In other words, if you are not willing to put in the effort now to work towards your goals, don’t assume that God will just drop everything your way and allow Him to pick up the pieces. He wants to see your input and effort to use that as proof that you are trusting Him. God’s Word tell us that working hard, but with faith in mind, can lead to great things he has planned for us. So imagine all the blessings He has lined up for us if we work hard. But please be reminded that in as much effort that you put into something, the result won’t always be what you expected. I am speaking from experience because I know of a time where I studied, researched, and spent hours on one application just to receive an email after 4 weeks saying ‘Unfortunately, we cannot take you on’. You wouldn’t believe the effort I put in, relative to an application I made a while back and received good feedback within 5 weeks.

Regardless of how the process takes, work at it with all your heart knowing and believing that something good will come your way. If you really think about it, when our prayers are met, we are very ecstatic, but how about being more determined when our prayers aren’t met. How do you handle that? When I was in a season of not working, I honestly did not see anything exciting in that, but instead of me wallowing in self-pity, I chose to make the most with my time and write a book: ‘It’s Time to Heal’ on Amazon and create a YouTube channel: ‘Esther N J’.

In our times of silence and uncertainty, that is the opportunity for us to use our free time wisely. This is not to sulk or become hard-hearted. It is a time where we must understand that what we already have, we can manage it and turn it around for our good. I used the money I saved to buy a car to invest in my book and my Canon camera whilst I was not working. I chose to do something useful with my time because as the saying goes ‘nobody knows tomorrow’.


I’ll give you four reasons as to why our prayers aren’t always answered:

  1. Gods time is not our time.
  2. Unrepentant sin is hardening our relationship with the Lord (Psalm 19:12).
  3. We are not asking in Faith (James 1:6-8).
  4. Our prayers may not be according to the Lords Will.

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God has a plan for us because we are so special in His eyes. What we are asking the Lord to do may not be in accordance with His plan or purpose. If that is the case, He is not going to do what we ask; scriptures related to this can be found in 1 John 5:14-15, Matthew 6:10 and John 15:7. When your goals aren’t being met, see it as a blessing because God won’t give you anything you cannot handle. What you could be asking for could be heavier than what you expect. Don’t take what you ask for lightly. Understand why you want what you desire, not just for publicity and status.

He will always give your needs, not your want. God’s timetable is not the same as ours. He knows better than we do and when is the best time for our prayers to be answered. (Hebrews 6 :13-15). God is eternal and does not measure time as we do. 2 Peter 3:8: “Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Ultimately, if we have faith and sincerely trust God, we will not be concerned as to whether the answer is “YES”, “NO” or “WAIT.” We must trust, wait to see if God in His timing will see fit to answer as we have requested, or perhaps He has something better in mind for us, I guarantee it! 🙂 There is beauty in unanswered prayers.


“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding (6) in all your ways know and acknowledge and recognise Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]”. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP).


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The Struggle to Surrender

What are you trying to control in your own strength? What is making you so focused on your problem rather than God? Have you ever been in a position where you think you know your life better than anyone else, so you plan what you are going to do in the next five years, then realise you are two steps behind because you were so confident in yourself that you would make it to the next level. Well, this may not be easy for you to take but you cannot do it alone. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it states; ‘If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land’. If we can honestly humble ourselves and say ‘God I can’t do this without you’ see how He will intervene for you.

Surrender

I would always think my life would be better if I was in control of it. Yes God is invisible, so I thought it’s okay for me to do anything I like right? Ladies, in life, no matter what we have planned, whether it is preparing for a new job, working in the ministry group, setting up your own business, starting a new relationship, getting married; all these must be surrendered to the Most High. If I may ask, why do you feel the need to do everything on your own? Why do you want to carry that heavy burden that is making you bitter? Could it be pride that has got into you? So many of us have come to a point where we don’t even want anyone to help them.

I remember a time I had a conversation with my friend wanted me to go somewhere with her, not realizing that I was already out. I suggested another week, and all she said was “It is okay, don’t worry”. I don’t know about you, but do you feel drained when you hear certain people’s names? I mean it really gets on your nerves doesn’t it? When you know your heart towards someone is genuine and they are not showing it back, it can hurt. This year I told God that I won’t allow anyone to get to me, because I know what I had to go through in my past to get me where I am today. What have you been struggling with that has helped you become the strong woman you are today? If I decided to wallow in self-pity and bitterness, I don’t believe I would be in the position I’m in. Please do not get me wrong, it is not always easy to cut people out of our lives, I tell you that. It just felt like a STRONG-HOLD that was pulling me back and keeping me silent. Every time I try to rise above it all, something will just pull me back quick, and I would say “where is God” not knowing that all the while He was strengthening me in my dark situations.

Now I do not know what you may be passing through, but I can confidently say that when you surrender ALL your problems, not some, not few, not half, but all your concerns and anxieties to God, He will be there for you. A really dear friend of mine sent me a message and it reads:

“God was speaking to me saying that even though we aren’t perfect, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves to always get things right because we will make mistakes. But what He wants is more of our time and effort. We should keep on improving but not burdening ourselves to always expect to get things right. Yes we see our faults, but life has no instruction manual but we have the BIBLE and our ancestors stories of their trials and tribulations e.g. Jonah, Job, Hannah, Sarah, Moses to name a few. We can continue to pick faults but we will continue to make mistakes. But once your heart is genuine and obedient to Him, He will not see you any less. He loves you so much and can see how hard you are trying. But applying pressure to change can be damaging when done wrong. Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and move on”. 

When I read this, all I could do was ponder on the times where I was so hard on my self think that I would never amount to anything. I thought that I could cover my mistakes and get away with it, not knowing that God already knew my mistakes even before I created it. Ladies, not matter how we try to cover up our faults, they will always be known to God. However, the good thing is that He refuses to allow us to stay in the mess. I don’t know what is stopping you from giving your all to God; maybe it’s an addiction, a partner, junk food, smoking, but all these things won’t give you joy. I was struggling to stop wearing make-up ladies, I tell you, it was a struggle, until I realised that behind it all, God loved me regardless!

I left my house without make-up last week with my mum and sister and felt so great!! It is an amazing feeling when you can surrender your problems to God for Him to help you. So I ask you today, what is your concern? What is your desperate cry about? Why are you finding it so hard to let go? I know for some of us, it could be our partners. We are so used to our partners that anything they say or do to us, we agree with them, because they should be ‘in charge’. Point of correction, God is in charge. Any woman that allows a man to treat her anyhow is on thin ice! It is important as women to know our worth and know who we are in The Lord. Why have you attached yourself so much to a man who is not helping you to become a better woman? The struggle to surrender is real ladies I tell you, but the real challenge is; ARE YOU WILLING TO SURRENDER YOUR OWN WILL? 

Trying to fight your way out of a problem without giving it to God is like eating junk food and saying you want to attend the gym to burn it off. You will still look the same, if not put on more weight without realizing it. Ladies, do not be deceived, God is not to be mocked. When a man can disrespect you, God will elevate you, when a man assumes things about you, God will remind you how precious you are to Him, when you feel lonely from a difficult break-up, God will be the one comforting you. It is my heart’s cry that we all learn to surrender everything to God. We cannot wait for everything to work our way before we remember God because we are putting Him in second place if we do that. Give God your all, try Him and He will sustain you. Remember you have to let go of the life you pictured in order to have the life that God has planned. Some key points to consider:

  • Are you struggling with your prayer life?
  • What is stopping you from letting go of your plans for Gods plans?
  • Surrender it all- stop trying and start resting.
  • Some decisions cannot be undone until you fully surrender it all.
  • Are you living a selfish life?
  • Let go and let God
  • Not your will but His will.
  • When surrendering, do you still feel confused about where He is taking you?

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Ladies, if you would like to talk about anything you are struggling with, kindly contact me via my blog. I will be glad to help and support you :).

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Uncomfortable Environments

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Do you feel like there is a sharp thorn inside of you? A deep feeling of pain, torment, stress, anxiety, depression? Paul experienced a sharp thorn in his side. What he was trying to explain was not that he had the physical thorn in his side, but types of troubles such as illness, depression, anxiety, loneliness; to name a few. But when we look at it from a spiritual perspective, we see that the thorn was a message from Satan. The feelings we feel at this present moment can either be good or bad; you decide to be happy or you can decide to be miserable, it is all down to you.

Paul’s thorn in the flesh was a wicked spirit sent by Satan to buffet him. Buffet means to strike repeatedly. God does not send wicked spirits against people in the Body of Christ for any reason. Read James 1:13. He sends the Holy Spirit and has given us His Word, which is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and for instruction in righteousness to discipline and guide us. When we face troubles, the first thing we should do is to seek God. Let God be your first point of contact. We are all surrounded in uncomfortable environments. It may be physical issues, financial issues, health issues, academic issues, mindset issues; all these things can be uncomfortable. But how do you handle pain that nobody can understand? How do you succeed when things are working against you?

In the Bible Job, one of the most humblest man of God was very wealthy. He had it all. Unexpectedly, he lost it all. He lost his children, his money, and his health. That is when he decided to pray. But can I ask you a question; do you just pray when problems arise, do you only speak to God when you are in need, or should your mind be on seeking God for who He is? If we were to lose everything and only seek God to retrieve our desires back, then really, you are not living for God’s purpose, but living for yourself. Job had to take himself out of the situation and fix his mind on God, because he knew that it was only for a season that he lost his possessions.

How would you feel if you lost everything? Would you get angry? Would you become resentful onto others? Job of course was upset, and I can totally relate. But he did not allow his feelings nor emotions get to him, for if it did, he would not have seen the Power of God in his life. Notice that he did not say “Oh how am I going to get my money back, or my health back, or my children back?”. No, he realised that when we stand with God in the midst of our uncomfortable environments, He will hear our cry. It is not about us, but it is ALL ABOUT HIM! We are servants of the Most High. We must be able to come to a conscience decision where we surrender our all to God and allow Him to have His way in our lives. Rather than Him serving us, let us serve Him.

When you are in right standing with God, everything else will fall in place! I say this with Faith because I know how it feels to lose some things. It can be painful to open up to people at times. People will judge you based on your outward appearance. They will perceive you as having a lot of possessions, but realistically, they do not know what you are going through behind closed doors. Your smile has covered up your pain, but only God knows the real pain you are going through. In this life, YOU LEARN WHEN YOU LOSE WHAT YOU LOVE; WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT BUT GOD YOU DISCOVER THAT GOD IS ENOUGH! And it is true. Until you experience painful situations, that is when you will experience God’s power in your life. You can’t be in a comfortable environment and expect everything to be 100% perfect. There will be problems, but His Grace is sufficient for all of us!!

The book of Job is mainly about him arguing with God and complaining about life. Have you ever been in a situation where you have felt tempted to argue or complain about life? Where you feel no peace? Where you feel your friendships/relationships falling apart? Where it feels like there is no hope? You are not alone! Lets be real, we have to be honest with God about how we feel. Although He already knows, it is vital to express these feelings to God regardless. Only He can change what you are feeling from within. No man, woman, career, or money can make you happy apart from God Himself. Remember God can handle your complaints, but as long as your eyes are on Him, He will teach you, correct you and guide you all the way through your uncomfortable environments.

But may I ask, what are you so uncomfortable of?:

1) Is it your job? The one you were thanking God for when the manager offered it to you?

2) Is it your partner? Remember you were on your knees asking God to grant you a husband…

3) Is it your academic studies? Despite the hard work and tight deadlines, you said you were not gonna give up regardless of how hard it may be…

4) Is it your child? Remember that time you were praying for God to grant you a child and that is what you received?

5) Is it just everything in life? Your relationship with God, your family and friends, your co-workers, society, peer pressure, money, stress??

 

We have all been there!! Some of us are going through terrible situations than others.Regardless of whatever difficult situation you are in, God is able to give you Peace! You just need to ask, for His Peace surpasses all human understanding! God does not give us peace as the world gives! The world’s peace is simply temporary, but God’s peace is eternal forever! Know the difference. The enemy will deceive you if you are not strong enough in the Lord. His plan is to kill, to steal and to destroy, but God said that He came to give us life in abundance (John 10:10). God as powerful as He is, the omnipresent God, understands where you are in life. Why not trust Him?

Sometimes we will face problems, but they are only for a season! God won’t put you in a situation where you cannot handle pain. Yes you may cry, yes you may fall out with loved ones, BUT HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU! Remember that your latter days WILL be greater than your former days! Don’t think about the God of yesterday, but dwell on the God of tomorrow and for the future! In other words, don’t just thank God for what He did in your past, thank God NOW for what He is going to do in your future! Yes God blessed you last week, but do you have enough FAITH to trust Him for your future blessings? What will it take you to put your all in God? Remember God will not invest in something that He can’t generate a greater return from. If you think your only going to speak to God on behalf of your problems, then some readjustments will have to be made. We can’t expect God to always answer our problems, and not thank Him for the things He has already done. Let us take away that “I” mentality. Remember without God, we are nothing!

So if you’re in an uncomfortable environment, and this could be situations at work, at home, at college/university, with friends and loved ones, keep trusting God and He will bring you through!! We must trust in His power and His strength. Your uncomfortable situations will become your testimony. Do not give up on God because He will not give up on you. God knows your current situation and will show up when you least expect it. Yes at times, God will not speak instantly, but you will definitely know it is Him speaking to you. When you can differentiate other voices from His voice, that is when you will experience better peace. You have to be strong in this life, you have to know who God really IS to you! But can I ask, what is He to you? Is He just a friend? Is He just a co-worker? Is He just your God on a Sunday morning, Is He just your God when all your problems are stressing you out?

There will be problems day after day, but in Matthew 6 it says that we should not worry about what the day will bring, for even tomorrow will have its troubles of its own. Acting in confidence and continuing to trust Him in your darkest moments is a sign that you are COMING OUT of your situation and you are walking in progress! It may be slow, but slow progress is better than NO PROGRESS! We all want to come out of our uncomfortable environments. But please do not expect it to be for a day, because it won’t. Problems can be ongoing, however the good thing is you have the power to control your problems by consulting your Father. When you feel alone, talk to someone. God puts people in our lives for a reason. At times, we will need encouragement from others. It is vital to our daily needs. Be encouraged today that your uncomfortable zones will be your greatest testimony. You can use what you are going through to be a blessing onto someone else.

Note: For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. 

Don’t allow your circumstance to change your mood!

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Its All Good!

This week I have just been reflecting on the people I have in my life, and how they have made an impact towards my life, and how I have made an impact in theirs. The truth is, you do not need too many people in your life. As long as you know the right people that are meant to be in your life, quantity should not be an issue. There are some people who I thought I would stay in contact with, but as the months went by, we just lost contact. I have been the one to check up on people, just to see how they are. Others however, have not been as consistent with it. It is highly important that communication is used effectively! I was talking to a friend and he was talking to me about the importance of communication. I reflect back in my life and have pondered on how many times I have used communication!

What I am trying to get out of this message is that, not everybody will be friends with you. Some will smile with you and secretly wish for your downfall. But God who sees the Heart will surely reveal this to you! God will convict your Spirit to let you know if this person or person(s) are meant to be in your life. Take this for an example: Lust versus Love. There is a MASSIVE difference between the two.

– Lust: Friend A sows a seed in the offering bowl, praying, believing and declaring that the job they desire will come to pass.

– Love: Friend B does not have much to give, but regardless of whether the job comes their way or not, the praise will still be in its mouth.

 

Can you differentiate the two now? If not…keep reading…

The difference is that Friend B is more likely to get the job. This is because you cannot bribe God or force God to do what you ask Him to do. Yes do not get me wrong, it does say in John 14 v 14 says ‘Ask anything in My Name, and it shall be done for You’. Its not about only asking God in His Name, it is the MOTIVE behind the reason why you are asking God for something specific. Friend B is clearly saying that regardless of whether I get the job or not, I will still praise you. Friend A on the other hand, may be disappointed that they did not get the job, however notices that Friend B has got the job. This is where envy comes in (Envy is a waste of time; you have all you need). This is why it is unwise to compare yourselves to others! When you do that, you are showing your weakness!

Sometimes I personally want to let people know what God has done for me, but other times I just hold back because I want genuine people to celebrate with me. At times, you just need to celebrate your success with Jesus and yourself.

Overall, in all circumstances, it is ALL GOOD! Just keep smiling, keep enjoying life, and keep moving forward! The right people will come at the right time!