Many of the thoughts on prayer that I shared in my last post took shape in my mind as I read the chapter on prayer in Wayne Grudem's Bible Doctrine. Here are some notes that I took from the section about unanswered prayers:
- God keeps his wise plans hidden until the time he has decreed. When faced with unanswered prayer, I need to humbly admit that God need not let me know what he is doing.
- Sometimes we do not pray as we ought, because we think one plan is best when God has a better solution.
- When our prayers are unanswered, we join the company of Paul - who prayed for his thorn to be removed from him and it was not - and Jesus - who prayed for the cup of God's wrath to be removed from him and it was not.
- When our prayers go unanswered, we must continue to trust God, casting our cares on him and remembering that his strength is sufficient.
- We must continue to pray. Sometimes a long-awaited answer will suddenly be given, as was the case with Hannah when she at last conceived Samuel.
- Sometimes prayer will remain unanswered in this life or for eternity, but the faith of prayer still brings glory to God.
Words are insufficient to express how grateful I am - we are - to all of you who have earnestly prayed along with us during this season of affliction and waiting. We have especially felt the effect of your prayers in the past week; the encouragement has been tangible. Whatever the answer to our prayers, whatever the outcome of this IVF in particular and of this fight against infertility in general, I take great delight in knowing that all these prayers of faith offered up on our behalf are bringing significant glory to the One who saves.