Sunday, February 22, 2015

FAQ #6 When Prayer is Confusing

With the publication of Seven Secrets to Power Praying came invitations to speak at various gatherings. Years ago, long before I had put one word on paper, the Lord had shown me that my future included speaking and writing. So when the invitations started to arrive, it seemed that God's plan was unfolding as expected.

The first couple of engagements fell into place with relative ease. However, the next invitation seemed to hit a snag right from the beginning. I checked my calendar. All but one of the suggested dates did not suit my schedule for various reasons. So I chose the one that fit only to find out that that date was no longer available. Would I pick another? Each of the others had drawbacks so I chose the one with fewer concerns and requested that one. The same thing happened. That date was now booked as well. I made another suggestion and that too was blocked. 

Lord, what is going on here? I wondered. As I sat praying and seeking the Lord's wisdom I remembered a few of my recent dreams. Could they have anything to do with this??

In each dream I was either trying to find a class, in a class or taking a test. For a few days after those dreams I had expected that God was going to take me through some teaching or allow me to be tested, but nothing happened. The dreams then faded into the background of every day life, until they came into remembrance as I was praying. When I asked the Lord which date I should pick to speak after the first three fell through, He was silent. I remembered a friend saying, "When you're taking a test, the Teacher is silent." This must be the test, I thought.

Nothing made sense and frustration was creeping into my peace about the whole matter, so I shelved the prayer request and decided to inquire again the next morning.

My prayers the next day yielded nothing but silence again. What was God trying to teach me? I needed to reply to the invitation but had no answer to give. I kept reminding myself that God has this under control regardless of how disturbing it seemed. Around lunchtime my prayer partners called to chat so I ran the situation by them. One response took me by surprise.

"Are you sure you are supposed to speak at that meeting? Did you pray about it before saying yes?"

Hmmm. Did I? I had a reputation with friends and family for praying about almost anything. Had I slipped up this time? I searched my memory and just could not be certain if I had prayed or not. Had I just assumed it was His will since it was a reputable Christian group? With a piece of humble pie in my mouth, I asked, "Lord, do You want me to speak there?"

God's 'no' came with peace and several confirmations. My partners concurred. Oops! Hadn't I just written a blog about a week or so ago about not making assumptions? Hadn't I written in my book that not every good thing is God's will for us?

So here I sit in God's classroom AGAIN. Even when something is part of my calling (to speak) and even when it's a highly respected Christian organization and it relates to what God called me to write, the Lord still expects me to ask, "Is this Your will for me?"

No wonder why none of the dates worked and why He was silent when I tried to clear up the confusion. God is so gracious to keep refining me and taking me through this lesson again, and to even give me a heads up in several dreams.

Takeaway Points: 
  • If you pray and God is silent ask yourself, "Am I asking the right question? Have I put the cart before the horse? Is there another question I need to ask first? What is God trying to teach me?
  • God cares about your schedule. 
  • Not every 'good' idea is part of God's specific plan for you. Pray about whether it is His best for you.


  1. Hi Jane.... i watched your interview by Sid was awesome it changed my life.... I am requesting for the message on some declarations i can make on my family, health, finances etc...that were advertised in the interview

    1. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the interview. Blessings to you...Jane.

  2. Hi Jane, I just heard you talk on Sid Roth's program today. I am a stay-at-home mom of a toddler and a 3 month old , and although I've been asking God for wisdom to raise my children, I have been constantly searching for answers and solutions for parenting (especially for my 2 and half year old who is presenting me with age-related challenges I'm not sure how to deal with) on the Internet, searching out the worlds wisdom. From hearing you talk about listening to God about every matter, I understand that is what I need to do with these issues - be it bedtime tantrums or potty training -,God cares about every little and big thing. I was wondering if you had any links/resources related to listening to God regarding parenting. I'd like to know how to start.

    1. That will hopefully and prayerfully be the topic of my next book. Parenting threw me on the mercy of God and was the ideal stage for learning to hear God. I give many examples in my book. I could not have raised my two wonderful children without the Lord's guidance. I asked Him every question I had, once I learned to discern how He was speaking to me. God even showed me how to help them with homework. You are starting on an exciting adventure when you partner with God in all your parenting questions. Blessings to you...Jane

  3. Hi Jane,

    How are you? I just hear you from Sid Roth' s program and I decide to contact you and ask for prayer support.

    I'm a Chinese sister married and live in Sweden now. My parents are also  believers .They belongs to one of a small home churches in Beijing and they used to have prayer group at their home every week for around 10 years even they haven't any pastors to lead them, but their dedicated life to the Lord never changed.

    But now my mom is at hospital. They found a tumour on her lungs and it's most probably a cancer. We have to wait to hear the final  answer next week or even longer.

    I'm totally shocked down and desperate when I hear it one week ago. My feelings was up and down when I hear the bad news every day here and there. I' m the single child for my parents and we three are really surrounding by all our unbeliever relatives and now we are totally separate from each other physically.

    I used to have a personal relationship with God when I was in Bible school a few years ago. But now I am not sure about anything even my heart just can't give up to ask healing. All sounds natural if she gonna die because she is 77 and that cancer if proved gonna be a hard one even to a young man.

    But I don't know why my heart just can't accept it even I feel it so weak . Maybe because it is my mom or I 'm too stubborn. Right now I just set up one goal---I WANT TO KNOW GOD!I want to use this happening to know Him and see Him.

    PLEASE pray for me and my mom "Sun Yun Zhen".If you have anything to share PLEASE contact me without any hesitation at any time. And then I also want to ask an agreement with you to pray for healing according to Matthew 18:19. PLEASE answer me, thank you and bless you, my sister!

    Ying Qin Johansson


    1. Hello Ying Qin, I saw your post and wanted to encourage you. I know Dr. Glenchur will respond to you soon. I just wanted to let you know God loves you. He loves you more than life that is why He sent His Son Jesus to die for us. Jesus bore not just our sins but He also took all sickness and diseases. I Peter 2:24 says by the stripes of Jesus we were healed. Cast all of you anxiety onto Jesus because He cares for you (I Peter 5:7). Trust in the healing power of Jesus and not the negative reports. I will be believing with you. All is well.

    2. Thank you so much my brother or sister! Your answers means a lot to me. I start to proclaim the scriptures and tomorrow the doctor gonna make a final check on her lungs . Please stand together with me to focus on the Lord nothing else.

    3. Thank you, LJ Rope, for that beautiful response to Ying Qin. I agree. John 10:10 says that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus came to give life abundantly. That is the heart of God - He loves you and your parents. So do not give up praying. I am glad that you want a deeper relationship with God - He wants that too! He loves you and as you draw close to Him, He draws close to you. He is not mad at you. He wants to spend time with you. Isaiah 26:3 is comforting in difficult times. I try to picture Jesus with His head on a pillow in the boat when the storm threatened to capsize it. He wants us to have His perfect peace even in life's storms. Keep focused on Him, not on the situation. Thank you for writing. I will be praying for you and your mom. Blessings....Jane