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Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16

A young mom sits alone in the waiting room, waiting for the doctor’s report. Her husband is 1,000’s of miles away. She’s alone. She’s scared. She’s worried for her baby. She earnestly pleads to her Lord Jesus for healing. Moments later the doctor enters. The look on his face tells her the answer. She breaks down in tears as he gently explains the baby’s last moments of life on earth.

A dad tucks in his young children. He looks at the clock. “Where is she tonight? Why hasn’t she called? She promised this wouldn’t happen again. How can she do this to her kids, to me?” He goes to the living room and kneels by the couch and prays, once again, for her. Her unfaithfulness to him hurts, but her unfaithfulness to the kids and to Jesus hurts even more. Earnestly he prays for her safety and for her deliverance. Hours later she comes home drunk, and it’s obvious she’s been in another man’s arms, again.

Pastor Smith listens for the clock to chime. Late again. He wonders where she is. Doubt and worry lead to anger. “Why God? Why can I see you work so strongly in the lives of those in the church and not her? Why do the prayers of her mother and me for our own daughter go unanswered? What has caused her to make these choices that are so radically different from her brother and sisters?” His prayer is interrupted by a door bell. A squad car sits in the driveway. Not again.

It’s been a brutal fight. She’s come to realize why some parents steal their kids to protect them from an angry abusive spouse. All the signs have pointed to her request for her kids to spend less time with their dad have been positive. She has her church praying, her family praying. She’s prayed for his change of heart as well. Then the judge reads the verdict. Her heart melts as the tells the kids the verdict and holds them through terror filled sobs.

Although these stories are fictitious they happen every day. Good people praying earnestly for loved ones. Righteous, faith-filled, Jesus loving moms and dads, pastors, teachers and auto mechanics. Every walk of life. Every denomination. Every country in the world. Praying to a God they trust and believe in for answers that never happen. Where are the wonderful results? Where is their loving Father when they need him most?

Some, to be sure, look at these things as being the final straw. Some turn from him, or blame themselves, or act out in anger. But the person of faith accepts God at his word. Were their words prayers of faith? Yes. Were they asking selfishly? Not from a human perspective anyway. Faith isn’t about believing God answers prayer. Faith is about trusting and accepting God’s answer when it goes against every thing we’d hoped for.

PRAYER: Father God, my prayer today is for my brothers and sisters. For those of us who struggle with our faith from time to time because our prayers aren’t answered as we’d hoped. Help us to trust your answers as best when they seem to be the worst. We know you are a God of hope. We love you. We trust you. Help us grow in that trust. Amen.

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