Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Get Me Out of Here!

by Grace Bull

We pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith.

1 Thessalonians 3:10, ESV

I wonder if you have ever prayed really hard for something, only to find God wasn’t answering your prayer. It can feel very discouraging.

If it’s any help, the Apostle Paul had that experience too. Today’s verse was written when Paul was in prison. He was praying really hard that he could be released soon, because he worried about the new converts in the places he had recently been.

He says he was praying ‘most earnestly, day and night’. He really wanted to get out of that prison. Maybe you feel trapped in some way too and are desperate to be free from whatever it is that is holding you back, perhaps it’s even keeping you from loved ones.

It must have seemed strange to Paul that God didn’t answer his most earnest prayers. As far as we know, Paul was never released.

Didn’t God care about Paul? Didn’t God care about the new believers? Yes, but He had a better plan.

Paul says he desperately wanted to see the believers at Thessaloniki so that he could supply what was lacking in their faith.

But God kept him in prison. While he was there, Paul’s desperate concern for the believers prompted him to write letters, which now make up half the New Testament. Those letters have ‘supplied what is lacking in the faith’ of all the believers in all the world for all time ever since! That was a much better plan, you have to admit, even though Paul probably never saw it.

If God doesn’t answer your earnest prayers that you pray day and night, one reason may be because His plan for you is far better and far bigger than anything you can foresee.

I like this quote from Timothy Keller: God will either give us what we ask for in prayer or He will give us what we would have asked for if we knew everything He knows!

Ah, if only we knew as much as God! But since we don’t, let’s decide (hard though it is) to put our trust in the One who does know and who does love us. That’s what matters in the end - we are loved.

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.


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