Have you ever found yourself pleading with God? Most of us would probably answer “yes.”
My friend Janet Thompson just released a Bible study on the topic of pleading with God, Face-to-Face with Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah: Pleading with God. I’m thrilled she is here to chat with us about it today.
Janet, what’s the difference between asking God for something, and pleading with Him?
Prayers can morph into begging God to perform in a way we think is best. Even a woman of strong faith can experience a crisis of faith when life doesn’t turn out as she expects and she knows God could intervene on her behalf. When we plead, we’re usually desperately invested in the outcome.
Is it wrong to plead with God? What does it say about our attitude?
God definitely wants us to pray with sincerity and passion. Many life issues, especially crises, naturally lead to pleading with God. How we react when He doesn’t immediately respond, or we don’t like His answer can lead to bargaining and negotiating with Him, or like Sarah and Rachel in the Bible, taking matters into our own hands. Learning to rest in God’s sovereignty and wait on His timing—as Hannah did—is our goal.
What is the best way to cope when God’s answer is “wait” or “no”?
Knowing God and believing that He is good and gracious and wants the best for us is the key to patient perseverance. He’s waiting to reap the maximum harvest from our situation: maybe it’s to show His glory in a miracle or discount Satan. Perhaps someone will accept Christ through the outcome. Or maybe He’s working on our character and spiritual maturity or growing the faith of people viewing our circumstances.
If we feel He’s gone silent, we could be expecting Him to respond in a particular or familiar way. He is talking—we just need to listen and remember that His perfect timing might not be our preferred timing. During times of pleading, experience peace with God by discovering a purpose in your pain.
Can you share with us a personal story about when you pleaded with God for something? What happened?
Praying God’s Word back to Him and personalizing Scriptures helps in hearing God because He speaks to us through His Word and it also helps focus on God’s will and not our own will. In another of my books, Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter, I share the story of praying God’s Word back to Him for my prodigal daughter, Kim, every day.
After three years, it seemed like God wasn’t listening. He had gone silent. Then one day I heard from Him, I want her back more than you do. That was all I needed to continue earnestly and persistently praying for her even though I didn’t see any changes. I knew God was working behind the scenes and He was expecting me to keep praying because I trusted Him, not because I saw or heard Him.
It took almost three more years before she made the turn back to God and to me and today she’s a godly woman, wife, and mother. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on God or Kim.
Could women benefit from doing this study with a mentor/mentee or a group of friends long-distance? Do you have any tips for making the online study successful?
To study online, I would suggest each woman have a copy of the book and agree how much of the study they want to cover when they virtually meet. There are 5 sessions and each session consists of 5 days.
They would each do the study on their own and then arrange a time to either chat online via email, yahoo chat, Facebook message, Skype, conference phone—whatever means they all have to communicate back and forth. They can discuss their answers to the questions or utilize the Leader’s Guide for areas of focus.
Janet Thompson is a speaker and author of two new releases Face-to-Face with Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah: Pleading with God and Face-to-Face with Lois and Eunice: Nurturing Faith in Your Family. There are 5 additional Face-to-Face Bible studies in the series.
Was there a time when you pleaded with God? How did God answer?