3 Lies You’ve Been Believing About God (Part Three)


As a new Christian and a few years later as a new wife I eagerly prayed for everything. God graciously allowed me to see answers in those early years of faith because He knew I needed to see some evidence. Little children need much encouragement.

But as the years went by the answers seemed less frequent which was perplexing to me. I am confident you have felt the same way as me.

Lie #3: Prayer is how we convince God to work on our behalf.  The Bible teaches this too, right?

Nothing has been more confusing in my Christian life than prayer. I’ve read books and studied all the verses. I’ve fasted. Asked others to pray. I’ve prayed with persistence like the woman in Scripture who pestered the unrighteous judge (Luke 18:1-8).  Kneeling, standing, using the right words, what did it take to know God was hearing, acting, and pleased with me His daughter?

But at times it seemed He was deaf or had closed His ears to my begging pleas because:

  • Still our granddaughter died.
  • Still our prodigal left home and pursued a destructive lifestyle.
  • Still our daughter was raped.
  • Still our son is physically handicapped.
  • Still my heart was faulty for forty years, and still cancer came uninvited.

In all this and more I have experienced deep pain that felt impossible to bear, more times than I ever imagined I would.

I’ve realized that my heart wanted a formula. In all those verses there had to be a key, a secret to unlock the power of God.  His silence was my reply.  But His inspired words held the answers: “The righteous shall live by faith, (Romans 1:17) Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

I am comforted knowing my Jesus knows what I have felt.

In the garden of Gethsemane the perfect Son—who had never entertained even one sinful thought, who had perfect communion with God the Father, who obeyed God’s will completely—asked that the cup might be removed. Not once, but three times.

And God said nothing.

The answer was no because God the Father had a higher good in mind.

And so He does with my life.

If I had found a key to prayer I would have depended on the formula, not on my Father. My desire today is to listen and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead all day every day as Jesus did. Jesus said He did nothing on His own initiative. To be more like Jesus is my goal. It’s taking decades.

God wants a relationship with me.  That’s a headshaking truth I still can’t get over. But I know it’s true.

A real relationship demands that both individuals know each other. He knows me and I must learn to know Him. And so all my life God has been showing me Himself, not at all in the ways I might have expected or wanted, but by refusing to conform to what I imagined Him to be. I have discovered a God who is incomprehensible, but oh so personal.

And the greatest delight is how I love Him and treasure Him. I don’t need answers for the issues in my life; I don’t need to know why.  I have Him. Even in the hard things yet to come He will be with me. He will be my stability.

I hang on to these words, from Habbakuk 3:17-18:

Though the fig tree should not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines,

The produce of the olive fail

And the fields yield no food…

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

One day all things will be made new. All will be made right. There will be no more tears or sorrow or loss.

Until that day, God asks that I surrender all to Him and trust Him as I live in this broken world that He is working all things for good, even when I can’t see or understand how or why.

Prayer still remains a mystery to me and I imagine it always will.  Even though it’s an enigma I still talk to God a lot, more than in my younger years. I’m learning to watch for hints of His orchestrating hand and I’m giving thanks in everything because I believe He knows and is intimately involved in every detail of my life, even when I can’t see it.

I pray you will join me in choosing to believe God in all circumstances and talk to Him about everything.


{In case you missed it, here are the links for Part 1 & Part 2}

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12 thoughts on “3 Lies You’ve Been Believing About God (Part Three)”

  1. Thembani Lettie Lubisi.

    Thank you for this article. I feel very much encouraged to pray because God always answers our prayers. Only trust Him for our lives God will always be there for us It takes faith in Him and faith in our prayers. Understand after praying that I have given God all my cares and receive His peace for your life. God is faithful. He loves us. Pray and believe, wait unto the Lord for He is God.

    Thank you.


  2. Your thoughts reminded me of Oswald Chambers’ thoughts on unanswered prayer. It comes from My Utmost for His Highest, August 6. “If we pray only because we want answers, we will become irritated and angry with God. We receive an answer every time we pray, but it does not always come in the way we expect, and our spiritual irritation shows our refusal to identify ourselves truly with our Lord in prayer. We are not here to prove that God answers prayer, but to be living trophies of God’s grace.”
    Blessings to you.

  3. Barbara, I think prayer can be a complex and yet a simply act of faith. I know we will never understand why so many prayers are not answered in the way we would like. Even prayers that are for our good. The only thing I know for sure is I would not want to ever be on this journey of life without my Lord. He is our HOPE! I find when I focus more on this world the less things make sense. So I choose to set my eyes on the Lord and my life in Him and His Word then and only then do I find peace. This world is not my home!

  4. Barbara,
    This is a well written article that reminds me to pray without ceasing and trust Him fully for the outcome. Through all the heartaches in life I am being refined for my good and for His glory. Praise God!

    Thank you,

  5. Thank you! This really blessed me because I know God is not a “magic genie” who will grant me my every wish, much to my dismay. ;) I know that even through much trouble and hardship God is still good and His plans for me are good. However that plays out. Not to say that God will or will not bless me in any particular way. It just means that He is in control and His will be done in all circumstances, even through a life of heartache and broken dreams. God is still at work and even through my disbelief He will work through me and use my life for His great plan.

  6. I have to admit, it just wasn’t that encouraging to me. After reading this, it just feels as if…why pray about anything, because God won’t move based on my prayers anyway? I get that it’s about a relationship between God and I, and that prayer is spending time with Him. But why even pray about things if it won’t matter one way or another to God? Why pray for the safety of my children, if they won’t be any safer one iota because of that prayer? Why pray for my wayward child, if it apparently does nothing?

    1. Mike–I completely understand how you feel. I have felt it was futile as well.
      However God does command us to pray. What God wants is for us to come to Him with our requests and then leave His presence with a heart that says, “not my will by Thine be done,” which is what Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what was coming and still said, “Thy will be done.”
      We don’t know what tomorrow will bring so we must go to Him with our desires, hopes and prayers and trust Him that He will grant what He knows is for our good. He will answer many of your prayers, but my point was to remind us that He won’t answer them all because we are children who don’t always know what is best. It’s all about trusting Him as our Father and our King. Hope this helps. Thanks for writing me!

  7. Watch the Movie regarding prayer called the War Room. Excellent ways tp pray.

    However, pray in faith. Know that your Lord hears you in your heart. Matthew Chapter 7, verses 7-12. But pray and ask in faith. Faith is the key. seriously, watch the Movie, “The War Room” it is expressed how excellently regarding how to pray.

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