Quick Takes – 5/30/2009

John Piper encourages you not to use Twitter while in church. “When you are in corporate worship, Worship! There is a difference between communion with God and commenting on communion with God. Don’t tweet while having sex. Don’t tweet while praying with the dying. Don’t tweet when your wife is telling you about the kids. There’s a season for everything. Multitasking only makes sense when none of the tasks requires heart-engaged, loving attention.”

Paul Miller writes about God’s divine story in your life. “If God is sovereign, then he is control of all the details of my life. If he is loving, then he is going to be shaping the details of my life for my good. If he is all-wise, then he’s not going to do everything I want because I don’t know what I need. If he is patient, then he is going to take time to do all this. When we put these all together — God’s sovereignty, love, wisdom, and patience — we have a divine story.”

C. J. Mahaney celebrates the blessing of unanswered prayer. “I want to celebrate unanswered prayer. I want to … thank God for all the prayers I have prayed sinfully motivated, that the Saviour hasn’t answered. I want to thank God that he is sovereign, not sentimental. I want to thank God for all the times when … I have approached the Saviour demanding that he do for me whatever I ask, … that the Saviour’s response was not simply, ‘You don’t know what you are asking’, but that he withheld an answer to that prayer. I am grateful to God for unanswered prayers.”


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    I, too, am thankful for unanswered prayer. I like to think of it, however, not as “unanswered” but of being answered “No, dear heart. I have something better in mind.” It would be extremely scary to own a genie in a bottle and have every wish come true, because I would not know the far-reaching consequences of my wishes. How much better to ask an all-knowing and loving God, trusting Him to answer wisely and knowing He will in no way be pressured and unduly influenced by my whining and wheedling! Please, dear Lord, say “no” whenever my ideas are less than Your best plans for me.

  2. Don Johnston says:

    Wow, I found “The Blessings of Unanswered Prayer” to be a very challenging article! I agree with it, I just find it hard to say a hearty “amen” to it. It’s like hearing a convicting message on the need to witness. You agree completely, but it’s too convicting to shout, “amen”! Bottom line…I have a lot of maturing to do even after pastoring for 33 years. I think my most “inadequate moment” is when I read in Romans 9 where Paul states that he’d be willing to be “accursed from Christ” (spend eternity in Hell) if his unbelieving Jewish brethern would be saved. Instead of saying, “Preach it, brother”, at that point I am looking for a quiet place to kneel and pray for a greater burden for the lost, because I am nowhere near to having that kind of compassion for my unsaved friends. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to be saved, and I might even shed a tear while praying for their soul, but trade places with them? Go to hell in their place if they’d just agree to be saved? I can’t pretend to be that spiritual! “Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief”!
    Back to unanswered prayers. I’m thankful (intellectually) that God knows better than to answer all of my prayers. I just haven’t reached the level of spirituality that I am ready to preach a sermon or write an article (although this letter may be turning into one!) on what a blessing it is when God doesn’t answer my pleadings to Him. I am grateful for those who challenge me to higher spiritual ground. I’m glad we have the example of Paul’s pleas to God to remove his thorn in the flesh, only to be told by God that instead of removing the infirmity, he would receive enough grace that God would be more glorified in Paul’s weakness than in his healing. Wow!…I think I better find another place to kneel!!

  3. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon – Yes, I think that is the way unanswered prayer is meant in the article, God wisely and lovingly saying “No.”

    Don – I agree, it is a very challenging article, and one that I find personally challenging as well. It is timely for me as I am struggling with a number of “closed doors” in answer to prayer and seeking to trust God through it all.

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