Small Answers

Sometimes it is not easy to understand the reason for suffering.

We all have someone in our lives who is in need of healing whether it is physical, emotional or spiritual.  It’s hard to watch someone we love suffer with an addiction, a disease, or the consequences of a poor choice.

I have been praying about some very tough circumstance for several years and it is exhausting to continually ask, seek, and knock when I am not seeing the results for which I am praying. I am ashamed to admit this, but I have been questioning whether or not God has been hearing my prayers.


The other day I as brought forth my prayer requests I realized the words I chose to pray were telling God that I did not want to get my hopes up.  (Was I insinuating He might not be able to answer my petitions?) To complicate it more, I realized the words I chose were also telling God, the creator of the universe, how to answer my prayers.  Pretty bold move on my part! I was startled at this realization because this is how I have been praying for years.

I randomly opened my Bible to a page and found this verse from Jeremiah: “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” This was exactly what I needed to read. It gave me peace and encouragement not only for myself, but for the people I am praying so hard for.

As I meditated on that verse reading it over and over, it became clear that I was so focused on wanting the answer to the “big prayer” that I have been missing His “smaller answers” along the way.  For example, one of the people I am praying for has an addiction and is currently getting intensive help and is gradually finding the answers he/she needs. Friends, family members and even distance acquaintances have given generous acts of service to keep his/her family going while he/she is away.  Another person is finding random financial resources to get through a very tough financial time where they are truly living paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings as a safety net.  The beginning stages of dementia are challenging for another person and the unexpected patience of their spouse is a beautiful thing to see.

These examples are not the specific answers I am praying for, but I am so very, very thankful I have come to recognize these “smaller answers”.

I know His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. These sufferings are not easy and I admit I am afraid I will not receive the answers I so deeply desire; but I know in my heart that God’s plan is always the best plan.  I am trying hard to develop patience and understanding that He will help us through every seemingly impossibility we face.  I desire to pray with more thanks, seek His guidance and develop an acceptance to His response.  I desire to pray boldly, specifically, and without ceasing.

I also want to look for, expect, and appreciate the “smaller answers” to my prayers that God sends.

I sincerely want to see these sufferings as a privilege and an opportunity to watch what God does best ~ making the seemingly impossible possible as He draws us closer to Him through His goodness.

Also published on Senior Salon – take a look at what others are saying!


18 thoughts on “Small Answers

  1. Wonderful post! I learned many years ago while praying for a “specific” outcome which didn’t happen, that the right answer long-term isn’t always what you think it should be. It was my former marriage and I couldn’t get my then husband to work out his issues inside the marriage. Fast forward ten years and I know that had I stayed, I never would have developed myself, always taking care of his needs. Now I am married to a stable guy and it’s a whole lot less work and so much more joyful. I had the right outcome but I wasn’t at a place to accept it. I kept praying for a specific and I should have been praying for help. From time to time I have to rework that in my head because we all think we know best. (Still praying for a lottery win though. Some habits die hard.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post! You wrote out what many of us have experienced. It’s marvelous that you now see and appreciate the answers that are given. I don’t do that often enough. Thanks for writing it out so clearly.


  3. Great post! I wrote that whole verse from Jeremiah on my fridge, the second half (that’s not as popular as the first) in larger letters. It helps me remember it’s all about what God’s doing-not my understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dear Ann- Iprayed the same way, for so long, that I am ashamed. I was telling God what I needed and everybody else too. I am sure He was glad when I finally realised this; I no longer ramble as “a pharsiee”-now I say thank you, Help me and forgive me please. I also simply lift names up, that are in sad circumstances. I also keep a prayer journal now of people I should remember. God is good, but this life is short of Heaven, for sure. God bless us both – and everybody! Know that your honesty inspired me. thank you!


  5. Experiencing heartache, periods of uncertainty, pain and more causes us to be stressed and worried at times. I pray that in all situations I will remember to go to Him. He catches my tears as they fall.


  6. I hear you!
    It comes down to trusting “God’s will be done” doesn’t it…& that’s not necessarily “my will be done”! 😉
    But I have to remember His love for them surpasses mine & He is far wiser than I, He knows what’s going to work & the timing for that working! I don’t…


  7. I think we get caught up with the idea that if we pray long enough and hard enough, God will come through and fix our circumstances. God doesn’t always work in the ways we expect, and from what I read in the bible, He guarantees that He will be with us through our trials and support and comfort us – but not always rescue us. This can be tough to take while we’re going through difficult times, but when we come out the other end with new strength and resilience, we can see His hand at work – that’s His promise.


    • I often pray with the hope that God will fix the circumstance. You are right, He will be with us through our difficult times and along the way we can often find unexpected blessings, new strength or resilience through His perfect plan. Thank you for your reflective input, it sure helped me.


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