First of all, I came to the humble conclusion that our prayers are often misguided simply because we're not omniscient. I'll be the first to admit that I've drawn some prayer circles around the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and God didn't answer those prayers the way I wanted Him to! If we were absolutely honest, we would have to admit that most of our prayers have as their main objective personal comfort rather than God's glory. If God answered those selfish prayers, they would actually short-circuit the purposes of God in our lives. We would fail to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us or cultivate the character God is trying to shape in us.
A second lesson learned is
that no doesn't always mean no; sometimes no means not yet. We're too quick to give up on God when He
doesn't answer our prayers when we want or how we want. Maybe your deadline doesn't fit God's
timeline. Maybe no simply means not
yet. Maybe it's a divine delay.
Finally, I learned that we
shouldn't seek answers as much as we should seek God. We get overanxious. We try to microwave our own answers instead
of trusting God's timing. But here's an
important reminder: If you seek answers
you won't find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. There comes a point after you have prayed
through that you need to let go and let God.
How? By resisting the temptation
to manufacture your own answer to your own prayer.
-- Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker