Saturday, August 17, 2019

Nancy Hughes: When I question God's answer to my prayer

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)

For some reason, I have the unenviable ability to pass judgment on people and situations and then get caught with my foot in my mouth time and time again. Here is one example:

A few summers ago, I was driving home from a city about 30 miles away. My little brown van with no air conditioning resented the over 100 degree weather even more than I did. My three friends (or at least they WERE my friends before the trip) liked the heat even less
Suddenly my van began to cough and sputter and choke – similar to what WE were doing in the heat. I couldn’t keep myself from groaning with frustration as I managed to guide the now silent machine with steam seeping from its hood to the side of the highway.

None of us knew anything about cars, so we stood beside the van with the hood up, glaring at the engine as if we expected it to apologize for its behavior, fix itself immediately, and hum on command. All this as traffic ignored us for several minutes and continued to zip by.

Suddenly I realized what I should have been doing when the problem first occurred: I prayed. “Lord, please send us somebody who knows something about cars!” I whispered.

It could not have been more than one minute later that my friends and I heard an engine reduce its speed and turned to see a guy and girl on a motorcycle pass us, slow down (as if having second thoughts) and finally come to a stop several feet ahead of us on the side of the highway
My excitement turned to instant disappointment as the young man on the motorcycle took off his helmet and turned to face us. A dirty, red bandana tied back blonde matted sweat-soaked hair that appeared to have never had a lasting relationship with scissors or water. Tattoos of someone named “Cheryl” were evident from east to west and the look was complimented by leather arm bands accented with silver spikes.

In my mind he resembled someone from a bad movie titled “The Hippie Who Conquered Outer Space.” I was confused. God must be hard of hearing! “Hey,” I prayed silently. “I asked for somebody who knows something about cars – NOT someone who looks like he came from Mars!”

As he walked toward us, the young man smiled slowly and asked “Need some help?” We all stared for a moment and finally I volunteered “Well, yes, but I don’t think you can help us. We need someone who is familiar with cars.”

He just smiled that easy smile again and said “Well, I’m not sure about the “familiar” part but I AM an auto mechanic. Will that do?” as he tightened a part here and adjusted a switch there and the car jumped to life
I immediately apologized and thanked the young man for his help. But two thoughts also occurred to me. First, God answered my prayer instantly – within one minute! But secondly – and sadly - my response was not one of gratefulness and praise. Nope. I responded with complaining because I didn’t like the way His answer looked.

God sent the perfect answer – an auto mechanic – to fix my car so I could continue home. But instead of a “hallelujah” response, I judged how the man looked and the human part of me, the selfish, judgmental part of me, questioned why God would send someone to help me who (I thought) had no idea how to fix my problem.

Not only did I apologize to this young man but I also apologized to the Creator of the Universe. Forgive me, Lord, for my attitude! Please keep working on me. I think I have a long way to go!

Father, forgive my arrogance for trying to tell you how to answer my prayer. Forgive me when you send me exactly what I need but I am so judgmental that I don’t recognize your answer to my situation. Please continue to work on my attitude and help me to look at others as you do and to remember that you are in control of all things. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


· Is there a friend who you need to ask to forgive you for judgmental comments you have made about her? Has being judgmental become a life style for you?

· Do you find yourself continually questioning whether God truly answers your prayers in the way He thinks is best or do YOU think you know better what you need?

· Ask a prayer warrior friend to hold you accountable for your attitude, conversations and comments.


· Ask the Lord to show you areas in your life where you are judgmental. Examine your conversations for the last week. Were you judgmental?

· Write down your prayer requests in a journal. Add why you are praying this request and then beside it write “Not my will but yours, Lord.”

· Journal His answers to your requests and thank Him for knowing what is best for you all the time.


· Luke 6:37 (NIV) “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

· Matthew 12:36 (NIV) “But I tell you that men will have to give account for every careless word they have spoken.”

· Ephesians 4:32 (NIV) “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)

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