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Every Christian encounters times when it seems that God isn’t listening to his or her prayers.

We know that this is not technically accurate since God hears every word that spills from our lips, even the ones that should never have been in our hearts in the first place.

But I’m talking about listening in the sense of responding in the way we desire.

It could be for a job promotion or a certain relationship or for a physical healing or for financial assistance in some way. We all have such requests at various times in our lives and a few of them actually do qualify as needs rather than wants.

God is gracious despite our imperfections and He does answer prayers for many things though we don’t deserve His favor.

Yet, there are times when repeated prayers are not met with the desired outcome. Even after months or years of waiting.

At such times, even more prayer is in order, along with study of the Word and perhaps even consultation with a trusted, mature Christian friend.

You see, the deferral of answering your prayer might be because God is still in his blessings workshop, arranging circumstances and influencing people so that the deliverance of the prayer request is complete for the need you face. And, with humans involved, sometimes it takes a long time for them to “get in line” with God’s will.

The deferral of the answer might also be due to your unprepared status for receiving the blessing. God, the Ultimate Steward, is not going to throw away a divinely crafted blessing by means of giving — to use an analogy — a fine sports car to somebody who hasn’t shown careful driving skills.

And then there are delays in delivering of your desire because God is trying to send you a message — your heart is not right toward Him.

It is this last condition that I read of this morning in my daily Bible reading:

This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’

But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.

“When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty . (Zechariah 7:9-13)

How we treat people shows how we think about God.

If we ignore God’s command to always treat people with kindness and integrity as our standard pattern of behavior, then it’s clear to God that we don’t care about what’s important to Him.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the implications of such an attitude.

When we call to Him, He won’t “listen” because we’ve not been listening as He called to us.

Please approach your times of petition to God with humility and compassion for others. If His delay in answering your prayers is related to His still being in the workshop of your blessings, He’ll reveal that to your spirit by sending small indicators that He’s still pleased with you.

If His delay is due to your needing to become better prepared to receive the answered prayer, be watching for the Holy Spirit’s nudging you in that direction.

Don’t neglect, though, to examine your life closely for selfishness. For that is the killer for your prayer requests.

Listen to Him when He stirs you to listen to others. It’s the best way to await the choice of God to listen to you.

As always, I love you
Martin

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