It doesn't 'mean' anything. There are various takes on it. A quick story, though it isn't perfect, just get you thinking a bit. A king has two sons, the one son he loves completely, the other he gets really fed up with. they both have a royal quest to go on. The one he is fed up with walks in. Stop! Shouts the king, what do you want? To quest, my Lord. Very well, says the king, take whatever you need. Then the other more loved son comes in. The king pretends to ignore him. The son approaches. My Lord, might I ask a favour? What, answers the king. Eventually the king engages the loved son in discussion, and it takes a very long time, with the loved son trying to pursuade the king. The point is, it was harder for the loved son to get his request granted not because the king didn't love him, or didn't want him to get hurt. IT was because the king delighted in the loved son's presence.
This isn't a perfect answer, but remember, the reason why we pray isn't to get answers we want, it's because God delights in spending time with us. The more time we spend with him the more we tune into his way of thinking. The more we do that the more we find that we ask what he already wants to give us. the more that happens, the more we find prayers are answered.
Try this if you are struggling; stop asking so much. Instead, spend more time praising God and thinking and thanking him for how wonderful he is. One word prayers. He still loves you.
Prayers are not always answered right away. And sometimes the answer is simply no, or not yet. The important thing is persistence in prayer on your part, and a heart willing to submit to God's will. Continue to pour your heart out to God because He hears you, He knows you, and He loves you.
"For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us" (Psalms 62:5-8).
In my opinion, it’s never a waste of time to talk to the lord and create a personal relationship with him. It’s not that God does not hear you; it’s that we don’t understand the full picture of what’s going on around your question. There has been time in my life, that I did not get my prayers answered and trust me I was very up-set at the time. But eventually I understood that everything is in his hands. Let me give you an example, lets, just say everyone prays to win the lotto, do you think we are all going to win. No only one or two might get lucky. But it’s never a waste of time to pray to lord and build a personal relationship with him.
To dabeaner, prayer is never stupid, what I find stupid is people that try to tell other people what to believe and insult them for their beliefs, Live and let live…
I have asked this question myself because at times when you pray you may get an answer right away and other times it may seem like you pray over and over for the same thing and never getting an answer. My pastor did a sermon about this not too long ago. If you can imagine a bowl and the bowl contains prayers for the individual or situation you are praying about, then everytime you pray that bowl gets "filled" with your prayers, maybe just your prayers or if you asked others to pray for you too then their prayers go into the same bowl...once that bowl fills up it is then dumped down onto the person or situation and the prayer is answered...it is a metaphor but hoping it helps visualize this as it is the way my pastor explained it and worked for me...God answers on his own time, just because you have not recieved an answer to a prayer doesnt mean that He is not listening, He is always there, right? So remain steadfast in your prayers and pray continuously for the person or situation, it will be answered, also remember sometimes he answers our prayers in ways that we dont expect, remember to look around for the signs that He gives us because sometimes the answer is right there and we dont see it. We dont always get the answers we expect either.
Sometimes as human beings we seek things that we no not need. The Father in heaven has promised us that he will not leave us nor forsake us. But we get into the habit of only praying to him and "asking" him for what we feel we need at the "time of trouble". But he wants us to seek him at all times, not just the hard ones. He wants us to wake up every morning and thank him for his new mercy on that day. He wants us to pray to him before we go to bed at night with a thankful heart that we made it through the day and thank him for all that he made possible on that day. He wants us not to "lean on our own understanding" but to "seek" him in all decisions that we make, even the small ones. Those that diligently seek him he is pleased with. Another thing to remember is that it is all in HIS time, not ours. What we pray for we might not be ready for and he knows this. It might not be the right time for you to have this, or he might be using you in this test of faith that even though your prayer has not been answered, are you still faithful and will you trust him with all your heart? He wants faithfulness and obedience from us. He wants to be pleased that we are following His commandments. There are a lot of factors as to why YOUR particular prayer has not been answered as of yet. Or maybe it won't be. He might be using you as an example to others who don't pray. Your life might bring someone else closer to God just by YOUR relationship with Him. Let those who don't know Him, know Him through you!
Be blessed and know that he has not forgotten you, he loves and cares for you.
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