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?
Definitely! The Face-to-Face Bible study series has M&M questions for two women to do together and there’s also a leader’s guide in the back of each book for studying as a group.
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.
See all Janet’s books. Visit Janet’s website.
Was there a time when you pleaded with God? How did God answer?
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My wife divorced me a month ago after being separated for 6 months. I desperately want my marriage restored. Today I was pleading with God to restore and transform our marriage. I know God hates divorce and from everything I’ve read it’s His will to save marriages. Today was a very hard day for me and I began pleading with God for His will, as I understand it, to be done. Even asking Him to save our marriage in the same way He saved the Isrealites from annihilation when Moses pleaded to God to spare them. I feel conflicted because I know God can save marriages and have this feeling deep in my heart that he will save mine and yet a couple of weeks ago I heard this voice saying “its not going to work out.” Heart is aching today which I led me to plead to God in desperation.
I am so sorry for your pain. I do not know all the details of your situation, but I do know God is able to heal and restore. Often we cannot see His activity or the bigger picture. Sometimes the best we can do is cling to God, trust Him, and stand firm even when our emotions tell us differently. Stand on the truth of God’s Word and wait on Him to work out His perfect plan.
My wife has been in a ‘perfect storm’ of physiological, emotional, and spiritual attack that has resulted in her desiring to end our 27 year marriage. I have been pleading with God for weeks, fasting and praying constantly for her healing and restoration. I know God can save our marriage and I am praying He will. The enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy marriages because they represent our salvation in Christ. Please pray for my wife SMC. I am pleading for her healing.
Greg, I am so sorry for your grief! I’m praying with you now that God will bring healing and restoration to your marriage.
My daughter pass away in Feb of this year,her health had improved but she got a UTI and reacted to the antibiotic and iron injection, My sweet child went to the hospital and they gave her medication that she was allergic to. We asked God to help us and he didn’t, how can I trust God.God is all I have and I am having a hard time to trust him.
Martha, I am so sorry for your overwhelming loss! I certainly do not have all the answers to your questions. We live in a fallen world and until Jesus returns and completely restores everything there will be death and grief and pain. God does not promise to take away all our problems, but He does promise to walk with us through them. He has been trying to teach me that even when life’s circumstances are not what I would have chosen, He is still good. He is still faithful to love, strengthen, and care for me. We must put our faith in God and not in our circumstances. May God comfort and strengthen you as you continue to seek Him.
I am pleading with God to heal my husband of high blood pressure which affected kidneys and some body parts. God should be merciful to me.
Yes, amen. Father God, please help this family.