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GSTquote10Are you wondering why God won’t answer a particular prayer of yours?

A question I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “Why pray? It seems futile. God isn’t doing anything about it.”

My how we hate the silence, and yet God does some of His best work in the quiet.

If you’ve been asking God to bless a certain area of your life, or you’re just feeling that He doesn’t hear you or doesn’t answer, let me offer you three things to think about:

1) God is under no obligation to bless anything that is not surrendered to Him.

We get the idea that because we pray, God is obligated to answer. Yes, God is good. Yes, He is loving. But His promises and blessings are to those who are obedient to Him (Psalm 5:12). We must be careful we don’t confuse God’s unconditional love with unconditional blessing. God makes it very clear throughout Scripture that there are requirements for His blessings (Psalm 1; 2 Corinthians 1:20):

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Among my Jazzercise friends, the saying in January  is “Happy New Rear!” It’s our way of affirming to each other our fitness goals for the year ahead. By the end of 2013 we want to have more healthy heart rates, better-shaped buns,  and tighter, toned bodies.

But I would be remiss if I only put physical goals in front of me for the next year. During 2013 I have goals of where I want to be, spiritually, too.

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 Women ask me, on a regular basis, “How can I know God’s will for me?” I love when they ask that question, because the answer is so clearly spelled out in Scripture. Are you ready for it? It’s simple, yet profound: Praise Him in the pain.

In First Thessalonians 5:18, we are told “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  God knows it doesn’t take much effort — or sincerity — on our part  to thank Him when things are going great in our lives. But to thank Him for everything? Even the difficult and painful things? That’s another story. That requires obedience and putting aside our feelings and saying “I don’t understand this, but I choose to trust You and thank You for it, anyway.” That is an act of love. That makes us more Christ-like. And that is God’s will for us. read more

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