popsicle prayers and even if

I’ve been praying very specifically for something for months with absolutely no change.

It’s starting to wear on me.

Sometime this winter during a sermon at our church, we were given popsicle sticks to write down a person we were praying for. Then we were supposed to put the stick somewhere we’d see it often and pray for that person.

I wrote a name on mine and stuck it in my devotional book so that every morning when I’d turn to that day’s page, it would be there waiting for me. I’d start off my quiet time with a prayer about my friend along with general things about quieting my heart, getting rid of distractions, and readying myself for whatever God wanted me to know today.

I’ve been doing this popsicle prayer for months. MONTHS.

And as far as I know, there has been no change, no movement, no glimpse that God is working in this girl’s life.

It’s totally frustrating.

I know that my friend wants Jesus. I know she wants some answers to questions. I know she has a lot of hurt that needs to be healed and I know without a doubt that God could take care of all of those things for her. That’s why I keep praying, that’s why I keep pleading and asking.

But I need to be honest and say that sometimes I’m annoyed that God hasn’t acted yet. And sometimes I’m annoyed with my friend who I think is kinda lazy about this whole want-versus-action thing.

I’m also annoyed with myself for being so short-sighted and impatient.

Because truly I know that God is working in her life right now. I know that there are things shifting and breaking and being remade. I know that sometimes we have to get lower, we have to lose more, before we finally cry out for help and seek him. I learn most lessons the hard way and so does she. It’s one of the things that makes us such good friends–our propensity for bad choices.

popsicle prayers and even if

Praying daily for this friend is also moving some things in me. It’s testing me in new ways. It’s reminding me constantly of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego being thrown in the fire by a king who wanted them to worship other gods. But these men and their faith weren’t dependent on every prayer being answered, they were going to serve God no matter what, they were going to serve God whether they died in a fiery furnace or not. When they told King Nebuchadnezzar that even if their God didn’t save them, they would not worship anyone else, they were bold and faithful and confident.

I want to be bold and faithful and confident even if my prayers aren’t answered right away. Or ever. I want to be bold and faithful and confident not because it’s convenient or works out best for me, but because it is my heart’s desire even if it’s painful and confusing and not what I would want to happen. I want to be bold and faithful and confident knowing that my God is steadfast and knows so much more than I ever will. I want to be bold and faithful and confident that he will take care of my friend better than I can and that I just have to be patient and trust him.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.      -Daniel 3:16-18, NIV

I want to serve God even if he doesn’t answer all my prayers.

I want to serve God even if he doesn’t answer any of my prayers.

I want to serve God even if he seems silent when I cry out.

I want to serve God even if.

 

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