Although you seem to feel that your prayers have not so far been answered, and do no longer have any hope that your material conditions would ameliorate, the Guardian wishes you nevertheless not to allow such disappointments to undermine your faith in the power of prayer, but rather to continue entreating the Almighty to enable you to discover the great wisdom which may be hidden behind all these sufferings. For are not our sufferings often blessings in disguise, through which God wishes to test the sincerity and depth of our faith, and thereby make us firmer in His Cause? (Shoghi Effendi, The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and a Devotional Attitude, p. 239)
There have been times in my life when I believed that God hadn’t answered my prayers, and I fell into a great deal of self-pity. I started questioning the sincerity of my belief, and even my faith in God himself. As a result, it was easy to move away, little by little, from doing the things necessary for my spiritual growth and development. I was going into this place recently, when I was praying for financial rescue that didn’t seem to come. Fortunately a wise friend encouraged me to make a list of all the financial gifts that came my way every day. Some days it might only be finding a dime on the ground. Other days it was free food from being able to eat at the soup kitchen and have leftovers to take home. Some days it was a bill that I’d budgeted for, and for some reason I didn’t have to pay. Another time it was an unexpected cheque in the mail or a temporary job. All in all, it added up and somehow the bills got paid. When I allowed myself to think ahead about the big ticket items and couldn’t see how they would be covered, I fell into fear, but when I focused on all the blessings and bounties coming my way, my heart was full of gratitude and life was a lot more fun.
In today’s quote we see that there are several steps we can take when our prayers don’t seem to be answered:
- Don’t allow disappointments to undermine your faith in the power of prayer
- Continue asking God to enable you to discover the wisdom hidden behind your sufferings
- Recognize that suffering is often a blessing in disguise so God can test the sincerity and depth of my faith, and make me firmer in His Cause
Recognizing that unanswered prayer is just another one of God’s tests, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Strengthening Your Relationship with God