Oops, I Got Sulky Again

I wonder how many posts I’ve written about prayer. Someday I will go back and count them all.

And maybe someday I’ll finally figure out how to pray and what the true purpose is.

I mean, on the one hand, I don’t believe that it’s complicated at all – I talk to my Father, He listens to me. He talks too, and I try to listen to Him.

But on the other hand, I get really muddled up when it comes to truly praying with faith, and believing in miracles, and stuff like that. I got sick 12 years ago, and all of the prayers for miraculous healing didn’t really produce any miracles. I’ve slowly been getting better over the years, but nothing dramatic.

We prayed for a baby for four years, and right now she’s sleeping in her crib. So I know that miracles happen, but not every time that I ask for one. (And really, I should say that both our girls are quite miraculous, but it was never announced that Anika’s existence was impossible, which is why I’m focusing on Kaylia as being the miraculous one in this post.)

During those four years of waiting, there were many, many nights when I cried in bed, and didn’t want to pray together with Ben anymore. I never stopped believing that God heard me, I just didn’t believe that He cared.

And then when Kaylia was born, I felt like I didn’t deserve her – like I needed to have overcome any doubt in my life before I actually received an answer to my prayers. And I started to learn all over again that it has nothing to do with what I deserve.

So I started praying with more faith, with fresh motivation because not only does God hear, but He also actually answers.

But then last year, I went through another prayer crisis. Ben and I prayed like crazy for something, and God took forever to answer, and when He finally did, I hated His answer. It made me angry. But I clearly heard what He said. There was no ignoring or arguing about it.

So I sulked about it. For a few months.

When I finally realized that I was tired of being grumpy, life became really wonderful again. I came to a point where I had experienced the miraculous answer I wanted, and the miraculous answer that I didn’t want, and I had learned to accept God’s will and be at peace with either outcome.

But guess what. Last week I got grumpy again. There was something I prayed for with all the faith that was in me. I completely believed that God was going to do something. Well, not just something – He was going to answer my prayers, and I could really only see one good way for that to happen. I was pretty sure that things would go in my favor.

They didn’t. And I got sulky again. Definitely some hormonal issues mixed in there, so I’m not completely responsible. Well, maybe. Anyway. I was feeling very grumpy at God, and informed Ben that obviously, praying didn’t help anything, because I’ve been praying for years, and NEVER gotten any miracles, no matter how much faith I have.

As I said that, I was reminded of Kaylia, asleep in her crib, and knew that I couldn’t really say that I NEVER get any miracles. But it sounded more dramatic. I’m sure Ben noticed how effective that was. And was probably also thinking of Kaylia asleep in her crib.

He calmly went to bed, and I went off to the living room to cry and pray and figure the whole thing out.

What kept coming to my mind is something that Oswald Chambers wrote. I can’t remember where the exact quote is, but he writes that prayer is not for changing God as much as it’s for changing us. We pray so that our hearts slowly become more and more in line with God’s. We don’t pray so that God will miraculously answer everything that we ask for.

So as I knelt there feeling grumpy, all I could think about was the fact that I wanted my way, and my way was bringing me away from God.

It was everything that I thought I had learned last year, but it was happening all over again. I felt very disgusted with myself. I knew all that already – don’t I ever get past this level, and move on to bigger and better things? Very annoying.

But today I recognized progress – what took me a few months to get over last time only took a week this time. And maybe next time, when God doesn’t give me what I ask for, even if I have all the faith in the world, maybe next time it’ll only take a few days.

Before you know it, it’ll take no time at all. My heart will get closer and closer to Jesus.

I don’t believe that it’s wrong to pray for miracles. I think it’s actually a really good idea. But if it doesn’t happen, it’s wrong to sulk about it. God can handle it, of course, but it hurts me a lot when I do.

How I wish I could come to a place where His “yes” and His “no” bring equal amounts of peace and surrender in my life.

We’ll keep working on it.


4 thoughts on “Oops, I Got Sulky Again

  1. I too have had to come to a place where prayer has become more about changing me instead of changing God’s mind. Of course there have been miracles in my life, but more often than not it feels like my really tough prayers are not answered in the way I would like them to be. Thanks for this post. Good to know others struggle with the same thing.

    • While writing this post, I was actually thinking of some of the conversations we’ve had about prayer! We need to have one of those again sometime soon!

  2. Yes, Kendra, thank you for sharing:) I know I’ve read that Oswald Chambers quote before, too, and it really opened my eyes to what prayer is all about. I can TOTALLY and completely relate to you on this post…I get sulky and grumpy, too…so thankful God, in His mercy, forgives and gives me another chance, but it’s so frustrating when I seem to deal with the same things over and over again. I really liked the last quote (in bold) of your post…a great challenge and pursuit in our life of faith.

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