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When a Prayer Doesn't Seem to Be Answered

A mother finds a different way to inspire her son to pray.

By Patricia Lorenz

WEB EXCLUSIVE

READ
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
—MATTHEW 6:7

REFLECT
I started looking for creative ways ten-year-old Andrew and I could pray at bedtime, instead of saying the Lord’s Prayer as we had done every night since he was three.

We began simply by making up our own spontaneous prayers. And one night we read Psalm 27. We concentrated on the lines, “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord . . .”(verse 14, TLB).

Andrew had been talking for days about his lost Cleveland Indians baseball cap, and that night he asked God to help him find it. I knew Andrew had listened to the Psalm, because he stopped talking about the lost cap. And some days later, when he found it, he told me, “Look, I was patient and I waited...and found my cap.”

Creative prayers. Begin your own search for fresh ways for your family to converse with God, and watch for new opportunities in answered prayers.

PRAY
Father, if a ten-year-old child can learn to wait patiently for his prayers to be answered, I think I can too. Thank You for showing me how to pray more creatively...and to wait more patiently for Your answers.

DO
Make a list of five of your prayers that have been answered. Put the list in your wallet or purse, and read it whenever you’re feeling impatient for God’s answer.

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Excerpted from Time Out for the Spirit ©2010 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.