For me, these past few months have been a season in which God has been answering my prayers. Not even just prayers I’ve prayed recently, but some way earlier in the year. Some had been consistent prayer topics for a couple of years or more.
Of course, the intuitive response when you see someone speak on answered prayers is gladness, rejoicing. This is a happy thing, isn’t it? Well… I don’t know about happy, but I know about good. And I know that when good things happen, they don’t always make you happy. Sometimes, they hurt.
One of the things about Spirit-led prayer is that it inspires requests according to God’s design and not human’s desires. (Sometimes, for instance, it’s in the kind of selflessness that leads me to pray for people other than myself, even and especially when they are pissing me off or causing me pain.) But of course, that means the answers to those prayers also manifest according to God’s design and not human’s desires. That’s the annoying part.
Once I do pray about someone or something that’s heavy on my heart, it’s hard to avoid imagining an affirmative answer from God that immediately benefits me. When I ask God to heal someone I love, what my flesh is saying is that I want to personally enjoy the benefits of this person’s healing, through their presence in my life. But what if I’m impeding their healing and the only chance they have at it exists in my absence? When I ask God to keep me from idolatry, my flesh is saying in the footnotes, “This person or this thing that I am obsessed with doesn’t count o, God, make you no touch that one.” And what if “that one” is the very thing likely to lead me to ruin?
Sometimes, answered prayers hurt. But if God knows what I need, why would He deny it to me? I’ve never heard anyone say they regret their prayers, but this year is the closest I’ve ever come to that. But the Devil is a liar & a God who isn’t infinitely wiser than me wouldn’t be worth worshipping. Requests I have fasted for, cried for, lost sleep over, shattered for – all being answered. And most hurting, quite ironically, like hell. But God is still good and pain too can pass. Hallelujah, Amen.