Christa, you said you and your husband prayed for your daughter every day while she grew inside your womb.
You declared God's promises for her wholeness, her destiny, and her life.
You believed, you had faith, you worshiped, and you had so much trust in the goodness of your God.
So even after all that, why did your daughter die from anencephaly?
Why do we pray if nothing changes?
GOOD QUESTION. And so glad someone asked. To give you an effective answer to this question, though, I'm going to have to build a foundation.
For years while in my twenty’s, prayer was a cosmic mystery. I knew I was supposed to do it as a good Christian girl, but it felt more like screaming long and hard at the sky, hoping that a white bearded, far off God might finally hear me over the billions of other petitions going up. I figured if I prayed long and hard enough, or was faithful and sinless, maybe He'd finally look my way. So day in and day out, I had my list of ‘requests' that I threw out in hopes that one might catch.
Prayer was a worm on a hook, and getting God to bite took time and effort.
Prayer was a crap shoot, and getting God to answer was the gamble.
I would read scriptures like John 14:13-14 and get stumped. Apparently, whatever I asked in Jesus name, He promised to do—exceeeeeept that wasn't really happening. I was still addicted. I was still depressed. And I was still in pain. I'd tack on the name ‘Jesus' before desperate prayers with little or no results, making scripture seem more like ‘maybes' than ‘promises.' I mean, how could God call them promises if He was inconsistent delivering results?
He promised that I was free—but my life was anything but free.
He promised that I was healed—but I was anything but healed.
He promised that I had been given abundant life—but back in those days, I just wanted to die.
But what if God’s promises aren’t guaranteeing our outcome as much as they promise to show us
1) Who God is
2) What His ultimate will for the situation is
3) What's available to us in Christ
After we know who He is, what His will is, and what's available to us through His promises, what if PRAYER is the vehicle that partners with Him to release His will onto the earth?
It sure is difficult to pray God's will if you don't know what His will is. For years, my ‘list of requests' was more of what I wanted to see happen instead of waiting on God, listening to his voice, and finding out what He wanted. But the more I got to know Him, the more I knew His heart. And since John 10 says sheep can hear, and I'm a sheep, I started hearing the voice of God (like we all can!). Since we know Jesus is constantly interceding for us in Hebrews 7:25, it finally made sense to wait and listen for what He was praying, and then just come into agreement with his prayers.
Things that He started speaking to my heart began happening as I prayed. Miracles started releasing in my life. Supernatural provision. Open doors. Even physical healing.
So, if praying what Jesus is already interceding releases heaven into our lives, then what is Jesus praying?
PRAYING THE WILL OF GOD
In Matthew 6, Jesus gives us a glimpse into his prayer life, teaching us how to pray while we’re on the earth. If you grew up in church, I have a hunch you've memorized or recited the Lord's Prayer at some point on your journey:
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Let's stop there for just a moment and take a closer look. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name.
In reverence, worship, and awe, we put our vision and focus on our Father as we pray. And then how did Jesus tell us to pray? Thy kingdom come, thy WILL be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
If you want to know the will of God, it's clearly displayed in this scripture: to set up His new kingdom, releasing heaven on earth—through prayer. We have the ability to find out what's in the kingdom of heaven, and then pray it. We have the ability to hear what Jesus is interceding for us, and then agree with Him. There's healing in heaven, right? So we can pray that to earth. There's abundance in heaven, right? So we can pray that to earth. There aren't any orphans or poverty in heaven right? So we can become mothers and fathers to those without families, fighting to overcome poverty, and becoming the hands and feet of Jesus by listening to His voice, knowing His heart, praying in accordance with His truth, and being empowered to do what Jesus did on the earth. The will of God is to set up His NEW kingdom in the world–-right now.
Jesus came to display the perfect will of the Father, in fact in John 14, Jesus lets us know that to see Him is to see God. They're one and the same:
“To see me is to see the Father.” (MSG)
If you want to know the will of God, then look at the Son.
And what did the Son do while he was on the earth?
He drew away to pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and then He displayed the power of those prayers by healing the sick, cleansing the leper, raising the dead, driving out the enemy, calming the storm, multiplying the bread and fish, turning water into wine, making blind see, making the deaf hear, making the lame walk, walking on water—all these and so much more.
Jesus came to show us God's will to set up a new kingdom on the earth— releasing heaven through our prayers.
The reason why we blessed our baby Goldie every night in the womb, agreeing with heaven and praying for healing and wholeness over my pregnancy is because that's what Jesus did while he walked on this earth. And if Jesus is our example—he's a pretty good example of amazing results. He even promises that we're going to do greater things than He did! (John 14:12) My husband Lucas and I continue to pray this way every day—just like he taught us in Matthew 6.
Prayer is no longer a crap shoot and God is the gamble.
Prayer is relationship.
Prayer is intimacy.
Prayer is a language between two people in love.
Prayer is our way of coming into agreement with our Father, and co-laboring with Him to set up His new kingdom on this earth.
But hold on, Christa. If you prayed and agreed with the will of God, doing what Jesus did to release heaven to earth, then why didn't your prayers work? If healing, wholeness, and life is the will of God like you say you believe, then why didn't His will manifest in the healing of your daughter?
Many times in this fallen world, when people pray something in agreement with God’s promises and the outcome doesn’t turn out the way they prayed—or in the their time frame— they end up lowering their theology to fit their experience instead of persevering in prayer.
PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER
If you've been a blog reader for a while, you know my husband was supposed to be blind by the time he was 30. We went to all sorts of healing revivals, crazy meetings, and flew all over the country to try to get his eyes healed. You do desperate things and end up in a lot of unexpected places when you know you're going blind. But even though supernatural miracles happened all around him many in church services and meetings, his eyes were never healed. For years and years.
Did that mean he stopped praying? Nope. Did that mean that he threw in the towel and resigned to believe that God didn't want to heal him? Nope. Did that mean that he lowered his theology standard to fit his experience with lack? No way. Just because it wasn't happening didn't mean it wasn't going to happen. Just because it wasn't manifesting didn't mean God didn't want it to.
We still believe with all our hearts that if the man Jesus was standing right in front of my husband Lucas, his eyes would be totally healed, as evidenced throughout the New Testament. And Jesus displayed the perfect will of God—and we believe it's the will of God for his eyes to be completely healed, overcoming the results of sin and death by the power of the cross.
We prayed for years and years with nothing happening. We prayed with no sign of a miracle. But because we saw the heart of God in the person of Jesus, we continued to push forward in faith, not losing heart, not getting offended, and not losing hope. A couple of years ago after a chain of incredible events, our miracle did come—with different packaging than we thought. But it did come. He's now 32 and can see. (:
(If you want the full back story of the miracle of my Studhubs eyes, read HERE).
Aaaaand this is getting too long. Which is why I'll post the second half on Wednesday. (:
9 Responses to “Why Do We Pray If Nothing Changes?”
Ohhhhhh, this is wonderful….went back to read about Studhubs’ eyesight being restored…now I can’t stop singing, “Come and SEE! Come RECEIVE…come and LIVE forever! Life everlasting! Strength for today…taste the living water…and never thirst again!”
I had all these questions you wrote down. And I knew you had the answers. You are so close to Jesus. I can learn so much from you. Thanks for writing these blogs. I’ll wait for wednesday! 😀 Annemieke
Really good, already looking forward to your next blog! XOX
Thanks for this Christa, I struggle with these questions all the time. We are so blessed that we have a great and powerful God and even though it may not work out the way we thought it would, we can rest in the promise that “one day we will know in full”. Bless you as you share your heart and journey with us all xx
Looking forward to the 2nd half and hopefully hearing more on listening to God’s promises for the future (especially if they are specific — I have questions about that!), after losing Goldie. Xoxo
I am anxious to read the second half. honestly, this post made me angry just because it hit a very raw part of my heart. my exact question for the past 2 months has been why would God have me pray something and then the exact opposite happens. looking forward to part 2.
This is so so good! This paradigm shift CHANGED my life from one of frustration and disappointment to partnering with God in what He wanted to accomplish in my relationship with him. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you for being real. I can’t tell you how encouraging and refreshing it is. Sixteen months ago my husband woke up with a mysterious illness that went undiagnosed for three weeks. It was a brain injury. At the time, our daughter was one, he was a worship pastor, and took care of virtually everything. He is my hero. He is now in a wheel chair, has speech problems, doesn’t relate to me or anyone in the same way, sees double, has nystagmus (jerky eyes), problems focusing his vision, and is severely physically disabled. I probably haven’t prayed everyday because of anger and coping mechanisms. But I have prayed a lot. And no miraculous healing, other than just the body taking it’s natural course, has come. I miss my husband, his humor, his wit, the way it felt when he hugged me and comforted me. Grief is hard. As you know, sometimes there is no healing miracle. But, I won’t stop praying for it. As my husband used to say, “God is in a good mood.” These posts are helpful and encouraging to know that I am not the only Christian who is upset with what has happened, but still holding tight to the hope and goodness of Jesus. I want to be better, as a result if this. Not bitter.
Christa, I have at times had people who has asked me about this. I donated a kidney to my mom and we had intercessors all praying for every part of it. My mom immediately showed signs of rejection, and my body struggled to have the one kidney keep up. It was discovered that due to some testing not done, that I never should have given a kidney. It was noted prior and than in surgery was second guessed when they noticed the size. Anyways, people say to me all the time “But we prayed”! I continue to pray,and people really struggle with the fact that it’s been years of me praying and believing and declaring healing has come to my body, and some even accuse me at times of living in denial, but I truly know that God’s goodness always prevails. I continue to declare new growth of a kidney over my body. I will say this, that I have one of the best nephrologists working with me with strict diet, and exercise, and watching certain things I do etc, to keep my kidney stable as long as medically possible, and for me, that is a huge answer to prayer. As well, the expensive medications I require are fully covered as much as my Dr. can do that. I have seen the hand of God in providing, and while it may not look quite like I would have thought, I do believe God hears and answers our every prayer! We just have to have eyes to see, that it may not look like our human eyes can comprehend. He sees the big picture. I do not for a moment believe as some people believe that my moms kidney failure and my kidney problems after donating my kidney are as a result of “me being outside the will of God”, because we sought counsel, we prayed, we consulted top Dr’s on risks etc. I just believe the enemy has wanted to destroy my life from Birth, but my God is bigger, and He has continually kept me safe, over and over again. GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!