Lately I've been thinking about unanswered prayers. What's taking God so long to get to my problems? Sometimes it takes a really long time for prayers to be answered and other times prayers are answered instantly.
It all boils down to this, God knows everything about us. He knows our past, our present and our future. He is the one who holds our tomorrows and he knows how we would respond if we knew what was coming down the road.
But you know, we live in the "Now" world. If I get a hankering for a certain food, I go get it. If my outfit doesn't match the seasonal colors, I go to the store and buy a new one with matching shoes. In this society it's hard not to apply the same "Gotta Have it" thinking to our prayer life. We have this idea that we can go to God's store and bring answered prayers back in pretty boxes and colorful bags. I confess, I've found myself even mad at God for unanswered prayer and then I give Him the silent treatment. But this attitude is so disrespectful to our Creator, Savior and Lord.
God won't be put in a pretty box. He answers prayer on His timetable. He is our loving heavenly Father. He gives us what we need, when we need it. The Bible tells me that our Heavenly Father gives us good gifts. He loves us so much, He offered His Son Jesus, wrapped in forgiveness.
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11 (NKJV)
Jesus is better than any shopping experience and He never gets old.
So what moves me past the Praying and Complaining stage? The best way I've found to move past this attitude of the heart is to start reminding myself about the prayers God has answered. I sit down and consciously think about answered prayer a week back, a month back and a year back.
I have a tool that I use in these situations. My husband and I call it "The Book of Remembrance". It sounds fancy but it's really just a notebook with prayer requests that we've written down over the years. I love to look at this book. Under many of these requests we have penned in a testimony of God's faithfulness. My heart just leaps out of me as I praise God for His answered prayers and His miracles.
There is nothing like praising to help me stop complaining. I encourage you to start your own "Book of Remembrance" today. It's time to start celebrating the victories of the Lord.