Tag Archives: prayer

Why Doesn’t God Listen?

I googled "prayer" to find a good pic to go with the post. This one came up. I said "Why not?"

What am I supposed to think when God doesn’t answer my prayers?

This is a question most of us have asked, and I’ve been asking it a lot lately. And the answers I’m looking for aren’t “Keep praying,” “He did answer; he said no,” or “You have to trust God.” I know all of those things. I do keep praying. I do trust God. I believe he’s good and that he wants good for me. My question runs deeper than doubting God. I’m really asking, what am I supposed to do with promises in scripture like “The one who asks will receive” when I ask and I do not receive. What do I do with unanswered prayers?

Maybe we should ask a different question.

In doing some reading about Luke 11, where Jesus is teaching his disciples about prayer and making promises like “The one who asks will receive,” I came across a Spurgeon sermon on Luke 11.11-13. Instead of the question I’ve been asking, he asks this question:

“It may be God will hear, and as a general rule will make replies in mercy. But I am an undeserving one. If the Lord should be incensed at my prayers and answer me in wrath instead of love, I should deserve it. If after having made my confession, He should deal with me, judging me out of my own mouth, and then and there condemn me, what should I say?”

Now that’s a different question altogether, and it’s focus is much more squarely on the one who created prayer and rules over all who pray. And it’s at this point that I find some perspective in my praying and my questioning.  Instead of assuming that God should answer my pleas, maybe I should approach prayer assuming that God is actually God, and he can do whatever he wants. And I should pray with humility.

I still have my questions, and those questions still don’t threaten God, but in adding a question or two to my list, I find perspective that influences my prayers and my view of God. And that is always for my good.

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on your mark, get set…”you didn’t bring your passports?” (and we got a court date!)

Well there is good news. We got a court date. We are going to make you sweat it out, but it’s an exciting time! Here’s how it happened.

We had pre-court on thursday at 10am. We arrived at 9:25 and waiting until about 10:05 while people came and went. Our coordinator showed up with Sam’s doctor, who is a really sweet lady, and she loves us. Finally we got called in, so we went up to the third floor into an office. Dang it, wrong floor. Everyone laughs, and our coordinator leads us up another floor where we enter the judge’s office. We went in and sat down.

The judge asks for our translator’s papers. Then he asks for our lawyer’s papers. Then he asks for our passports, which we did not have. “What? You don’t have your passports?” He didn’t want to go on with the hearing without them, which is understandable, so he said to come back at the same time on Friday. It was very disappointing, and we were worried about how it might make us look or that it would delay us. No one told us to bring our passports, and we even asked someone who said no. 

So we did the whole put on a suit and tie and pantyhose thing again (collectively speaking, so don’t get crazy. Rude.) We went back and did it all over again. We actually got in at 9:45 this time and were out of there by 10am. We did the whole deal, he asked everyone some basic questions like “what is your favorite number?” and “if you were a hotdog, would you eat yourself?” Then we set the date and left, excited to be past one step, a little nervous about the next one. But this was a good day.

While we were waiting, Sam’s doctor told us that while we weren’t at the baby house yesterday because we went to pre-court Sam was walking or crawling around wondering where we were. It’s sad, but sweet. We should also report that he called Charity mama yesterday for the first time. He was reaching for her when he said it, so we are pretty sure it was legit. He is also walking a lot on his own now and does it with a little more balance and grace. It’s exciting to see him making steps up the developmental ladder while we are with him. He is a cool kid.

Thank you guys for praying. Please pray like crazy for us as we approach our court date. Here are a few specifics:

1) favor with the judge
2) that some of the issues we have heard about will either not come up or be minor things that get by wth a simple, straightforward answer
3) approval
4) peace in our hearts and minds as we prepare
5) for the Lord’s power and grace to be seen in these steps

Thank you so much for being there with us for every step. We have felt the prayers and encouragement over the last few days. This journey is not just ours, it belongs to so many other people. Thank you for walking it with us.

PS – the court date is this Monday, April  13 at 3pm (You didn’t think we were really going to keep that from you, right?)


specific answers to specific questions

One more step is behind us. We got a call about 1:15 Thursday afternoon saying that we had a meeting with the department of education at 2:50. So we had less than an hour notice before we had to leave. It was a crazy rush of nerves, excitement, anxiety, and relief. One of our specific prayers was for a quick date for this meeting, and it was answered specifically. We got the meeting the day after our bonding ended, so it couldn’t have been much quicker than that.

The meeting went well. We actually got several questions about stuff like our finances, our jobs, and Sam. It was pretty intimidating. The ladies didn’t let on much in the way they looked at and talked to us, but by the end of the interview they had lightened up. One of the ladies asked us a few questions, but then started talking about how she had seen us at the baby house with Sam and that we were a good family and good parents. She was smiling, and kept saying that things were “harasho,” good in Russian.

That was crazy to us. We saw the lady for seriously about 2 minutes one day, yet we had such good favor with her. This was one other very specific thing we had been praying for. We asked you guys to pray that we would have favor with these people, not just that they would listen and let us by, but that we would have favor in their eyes, and this lady definitely thought very highly of us. It was a very cool thing to sit there and see God’s answer to a very specific prayer.

We also asked for prayer about some pressure that we were under to do some things that we did not want to do pertaining to our interviews in a few places. This was one of those places. We didn’t do what we were being pressured to do, something that would be wrong, and the issue never even came up. Not even a passing mention of it. So great!

As the interview went on and the issue never came up, we just felt relief and such a sense of excitement that God was directing even the steps of those who do not know him. I am really thinking Malachi 1:5 – “Your own eyes will see this, and you yourselves will say: The Lord is great, even beyond the borders of Israel.” The earth and everything in it are the Lord’s because he made them. He directs each person and event as he wants. Whether they claim to be his or not, everyone and everything moves in response to him.

So that’s our news for today, even though it happened on Thursday. God is good, and he is faithful. We still have a few major things in front of us, but this was one big step, and we feel a definite sense of relief. Please pray for a quick court date and for favor with the judge like we have favor with this lady in the dept. of education.


a certain prayer concern…and of course more photos

Today we are heading to our 10th day of bonding with Sam. It has gone so fast, but we do know that we still have a pretty good way to go still. We have 5 more days of bonding and then we go to court, and if we get a “yes” then we have 15 more days for the waiting period. So we are still looking at a minimum of 20 days before we might get to bring Sam home to our apartment, and we are enjoying our time, but also hoping that those days go really fast.

We talked with our coordinators the other day about some court stuff, and we found out something that is a little troubling to us. It is not something we want to post here, and it’s not devestating. It is just something that might come up in court that could potentially be a problem for us. We have talked with other families, and it seems like court will be fairly low-key. We just have this lingering question about this one issue more than most. It has to do with our answer to a certain question that might come up. We want to be honest in everything we say, and we want them to hear our hearts and be moved by that to approve us. the whole thing sort of feels like a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego moment.

Please pray for wisdom in how to answer if this question does come up. Also please pray that we would be able to rest in God’s peace in our situation and not dwell on the possibility all the way until we get to court. Also pray that God would soften the judge’s heart and anyone else we have to answer to and that our case and anyone associated with it would have favor. Pray for very clear and specific translation. We are really praying that this would not even be an issue. If the question even comes up at all that our answer would suffice and the judge would accept it.

As always, we really need your prayers and have felt them when you pray them. We have had the strength, wisdom, and peace when we have needed it, and God has done great things for us! We are still learning and being refined by a lo of the same things, and we love your prayers in the midst of it. Thank you for walking this road with us. We love you.

And as a reward, here are some new pics of the boy.


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