Freedom of Choice
The main reason for prayer is to have a personal relationship with our heavenly Father. Some people pray, only when they are in trouble or when they want something, and if God doesn't answer just the way they think He should, they feel God isn't real, or He doesn't care, or that prayer "doesn't work!" But it doesn't mean that God didn't hear you or doesn't love you. Sometimes, no matter how hard we pray, things don't turn out the way we hoped! For instance, if we are praying for a loved one to give their heart to Jesus, we must remember that God will not change another person's will. He has given all of us "freedom of choice," and that person is free to choose whether to do right or wrong. No amount of praying, will make God "force" His will on them! But we can continue praying intercessory prayers for the Holy Spirit to keep working on their heart! Never give up! Keep praying, and don't forget to trust God with His answers . . . for our God is trustworthy!
The LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons."
2 And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." And the LORD said, "Take a heifer with you and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'
3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you."
4 Samuel did what the LORD commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, "Do you come peaceably?"
5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice." And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed is before him."
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."
9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the LORD chosen this one."
10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen these."
11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all your sons here?" And he said, "There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep." And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here."
12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, "Arise, anoint him, for this is he." (1 Samuel 16:1-12 ESV)
16 Thus says the LORD: "Keep your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for there is a reward for your work, declares the LORD, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
17 There is hope for your future, declares the LORD, and your children shall come back to their own country. (Jeremiah 31:16-17, ESV)
© Brenda Walsh Ministries www.brendawalsh.com