God why aren't you answering? God can't you hear me? God don't you care? God why won't you give me what I want, what I'm asking you for?
Sound familiar? Put like this it sounds like a petulant child and yet that is often what my conversation with God sounds like. Not quite humbly coming before a loving Heavenly Father quietly confident that He knows best.
A few years ago I was praying earnestly for something I "knew" to be in God's will; something good, something that would be a blessing. But my prayers continued unanswered and became more of the demanding child variety than the "your will be done".
Looking back, with the added value of hindsight, I can see the wisdom in God not answering that particular prayer request. He knew best and, had I been more attuned to His Spirit, more willing to listen to His still small voice, my prayers may have been more in line with His perfect wisdom and thereby much more effective.
I now thank Him for the unanswered prayer. However, do I still find myself demanding things in prayer? Yes! But I am more aware of it and trying to learn more of Him and His love and character which gives me confidence to trust in Him.
Is this a passive, 'Que sera, sera' type of praying? Not at all! We are called to "Pray without ceasing", to come before God boldly and confidently, to not let go until we attain those things we are asking God for. But in all of this to continually be listening for His voice, to guide, correct and inform our praying and to bring our requests in line with the Son who is continually interceding before the Father for us.
We pray out of what we know and what we know is limited. We see and hear through our own filters and this distorts our understanding. We do not see and hear perfectly, as we should and as one day we shall. We must allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us and to inform our prayers.
And our model for this? Jesus. "Lord, if it be possible take this cup from me BUT not my will but thine be done."
We live in the blessing of this unanswered prayer.