當禱告似乎未蒙應允時

By: Robert J. Tamasy

「當一切都失敗時,你當禱告」。這句話對很多人來說是一個座右銘。 也許你也是這樣的人::
絕大部分的時候對自己很有自信,認為可以處理任何臨到的事,只有當偶然有時出現無法控制的狀況時,才訴諸禱告,畢竟這沒害處嘛!

但對於某些人來說,禱告更重要。他們非常看重這個誡命,因為聖經教導我們要 「不住的禱告」 (帖撒羅尼迦前書5章17節)。他們為個人需要禱告、為他人的需要代禱以及敬拜讚美神。但是有一個問題,禱告不是自動販賣機:把錢投入投幣孔,就會得到你想要的東西。有些時候也有未蒙應允的禱告。

當你的禱告未蒙應允時發生了什麼事?你的禱告也許是關於得到一個你很需要的工作、完成一個很重要的交易、買賣的生意、得到一個長久尋求的升遷、解決經濟上或是家庭的問題、或是其他的需要和想要的願望。 你禱告了; 卻沒有回應。

在我的生活和職業生涯中,我早已經歷到這些狀況;在很多時候,我持續在同一個已經找不到成就感的工作中,而其他的選擇卻遲遲未出現我掙扎著去找一個對的人來當一個重要的同工;在經濟壓力越升越高時,等著房子賣掉等等的狀況等。

這些狀況往往讓我們不開心,但是透過它們,我學到很多關於禱告和 神的事。例如我學到 神總是回應禱告,但祂用四種方式來回應:1.是2.不是3.等待4.不同於我們的答案。 讓我們來看看神回答我們禱告的方式:

當神說:「是」。像一個充滿同情心的人類父親一般,神樂意收到並回應孩子們的請求,不僅如此,祂的回答比不完美的人類父母更好。『你們若奉我的名求甚麼,我必成就』 (約翰福音14章14節)。『你們雖然不好,尚且知道拿好東西給兒女;何況天父,豈不更將聖靈給求他的人嗎?』(路加福音11章13節)

當神說: 「不」。我們的要求有時會被拒絕,因為我們的動機是錯誤的,是出於我們個人自私的願望。也有時,神認出我們真正的需要並不是我們所求的,所以他對我們說:『不』。 你們求也得不著,是因為你們妄求,要浪費在你們的宴樂中(雅各書4章3節)

當神說:「等一等 」。有些時候神會因為一些理由保留祂的回應。也許是時間不太對、細節不完整,或者祂在教導我們耐心或祂想告訴我們祂依然掌權。『你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他;不要因那道路通達的和那惡謀成就的心懷不平』(詩篇37篇7節)。『你當等候耶和華,遵守他的道,他就抬舉你,使你承受地土;惡人被剪除的時候,你必看見。』(詩篇37篇34節)。

當神說:「我有不同的答案」。有時候我們為需要的或是想要的禱告。然而有智慧、全知全能的神知道其他的答案,會比我們所求的更適合、更好!『神能照著運行在我們心裏的大力充充足足地成就一切,超過我們所求所想的。』(以弗所書3章20節)。

Robert J. Tamasy是領袖遺產通訊的副總裁。這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利性組織 。他也是一個有38年經驗的退休專業新聞工作者。著有:商業藝術: 今日職場中永恆的箴言智慧 ,並和David A. Stoddard,合著良師益友的心:十個培養人們全備潛能的原則。更多資訊詳見www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

思想 / 討論題目
禱告對你的生活有多重要?解釋你的答案。 上一次你禱告何時未蒙應允?最近有這樣的經驗嗎?依照本週的「週一嗎哪」你可以想出為何你的禱告未照你所希望的實現? 知道神用「是」、「不」、「等等」和「不同於你的答案」四種方式回應禱告,對你有意義嗎? 在約翰福音15章7節 中,耶穌告訴他的跟隨者:「你們若常在我裏面,我的話也常在你們裏面,凡你們所願意的,祈求,就給你們成就。」你想耶穌指的是什麼?這句話對我們的禱告有什麼影響? 註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
詩篇37篇4-5節,詩篇141篇1節,詩篇142篇1-7節,詩篇143篇1節、7-10節,箴言3章5-6節,馬太福音6章7-13節、腓立比書4章6節

WHEN PRAYERS SEEM TO GO UNANSWERED

By: Robert J. Tamasy

“When all else fails, pray.” That seems to be a motto for many people. Perhaps you are one of them – individuals feeling confident that in most cases, they can handle anything that comes along. When the rare times arise that circumstances seem beyond their control, they resort to prayer. After all, what harm can that do?

For others, prayer is more important. The Bible teaches, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and they take that exhortation seriously. They pray for personal needs, intercede for the needs of others, and offer praise to the God they worship. But there is one problem with prayer: It is not like going to a vending machine, putting money into a slot, and receiving exactly what you desire. Sometimes prayers seem to go unanswered.

What happens when you pray and the answer you seek is not forthcoming? Your prayers might concern obtaining a much-needed job, finalizing an important sale, buying or selling a business, receiving a long-sought promotion, resolving financial or family problems, or any number of other needs and desires. You pray, but no answer.

Over my life and career, I have experienced that on many occasions: Having to remain in a job that I no longer found fulfilling, with no other options forthcoming. Struggling to find the right person to fill a key staff position. Waiting for our house to sell while financial pressures mounted.

Situations like these were never pleasant, but through them I learned a lot about prayer – and about God. For instance, I learned that God always answers prayers, but He does so in any of four ways: Yes. No. Wait. Different. Let”s take a quick look at the various ways God uses for answering our prayers:

When God says “Yes.” Like a loving, compassionate human father, God delights in receiving the requests of His children and responding to them. More than that, His answers are far better than those of imperfect parents. “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13).

When God says “No.” Our requests are sometimes rejected because our motivations are wrong, asking out of selfish desires. At other times, God recognizes what we truly need is not what we are requesting, so He says “No” to our prayers. “When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives…” (James 4:3).

When God says “Wait.” There are times when God withholds His answers, for whatever reason. The timing might not be right; specific details might be incomplete; He might be teaching us patience; or He simply wants to impress upon us that He is in control – and we are not. “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes…. Wait for the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land…” (Psalm 37:7,34).

When God says “Different.” Sometimes when we pray, we feel convinced of what we need or want. God in His wisdom, however, is all-knowing and understands when a different answer would be more suitable – and much better – than what we are requesting. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…”” (Ephesians 3:20).

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 38 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or go to his online blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
How important is prayer in your life? Explain your answer. When was the last time you felt like your prayers were not being answered? Do you presently have prayers for which you have not received answers? In light of this week”s discussion in “Monday Manna,” can you think of any reasons for your answers not being as forthcoming as you expected? What, if anything, does it mean for you to realize that when God responds to prayer, He not only can answer with a “Yes” or “No,” but also with a “Wait” or “Different”? In John 15:7, Jesus told His followers, “If you remain (abide) in me and my words remain (abide) in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you”? What do you think Jesus meant – and how should what He said affect the way we pray? NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Psalm 37:4-5, 141:1, 142:1-7, 143:1,7-10; Proverbs 3:5-6; Matthew 6:7-13; Philippians 4:6

Show More