What Ripped Prom Pants Have to Do With Praying and Solving Your Problems

He had the pink rose corsage atop a glamorous rhinestone bracelet, he had the prom tickets, he had the stunning date. Everything was perfect.

Until he was about to walk out the door.
Then the scream.
“Mom?!”
“Yes, son?”
“I have a hole in the side of my suit pants!”
Ut oh!

What did he do? He called for help.
Did he call for dad? Shoot no! Dad would fix the hole with duct tape.
Did he scream for his 14 year old sister? Nah...she'd probably staple it together.

He screamed for the best person for the job.
Mama to the rescue!
In under two minutes and 17 seconds, I grabbed my sewing kit, whipped out my needle and thread and said, "Ty, give me those pants, I'm gonna take care of this for you."
Within moments the problem was solved. Tyler rushed out the door, whisked his date off her feet, and they danced the night away!

Let's rewind.
Imagine a different scenario.
Tyler could have freaked out.
He could have tried to solve the problem on his own.
Or both...freak out and solve the problem on his own.

Know what he would have created?
A bigger mess.
And a frazzled state of mind.

....He would have been a fun date. Not!

But isn't that what we sometimes do when we discover a glitch that keeps us from going where we want to in life? We freak out. We try to fix a problem that we don't know how to solve. And most of the time we end up doing both, freaking out AND trying to fix the problem. Which causes a bigger problem; a bigger mess.

Here's a better option:
Fix your thoughts on God and you will have perfect peace while he gets the thing fixed.

You relax. You step aside. You surrender and let God solve your issue. You will finally be on your way without missing a beat.

Unless you freak out….Trying to fix it yourself.
Then your fix will be delayed. And so will your arrival.

I'd hate to picture this, but if my son was brainless enough to lose his cool over the rip in his pants and try to fix the hole himself, he would have made the pants look even worse. Can you imagine? Had he taken the do-it-yourself approach he would have spent three times longer on the ripped pants and arrived to the prom a half hour late. His date miffed, her dad ticked, and the whole night a downer.

When we try to take things into our own hands rather than running to God, who can fix our problem much better than we can, we risk delaying our solution.

So next time you are faced with a crisis:
• Don't freak out
• Don't fix it your way
• Ask for God’s help

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…" Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

Toss him the pants. He's gonna get it done faster and better than you can!
Mission accomplished.

Do you tend to freak out, fix it yourself, or have you found another way to deal with the problems that smack you in the face? Share in the comment section.

 

Why Pray If Not All Prayers Get Answered?

Why pray if not all prayers get answered?

Because Jesus did.

Ask a kid, "Why do you ask your mommy for a cookie every day if she doesn't always give one to you?"

Answer:  “Because then I would never get a cookie. Even if she doesn't give it to me every day, there are days when she does say yes.”

Jesus prayed prayers that didn't get answered too. We are in good company.

He was not saved from death, even though he desperately cried out to his father to save him.

Even before the crucifixion, as he knew it was coming; he asked that he would be able to escape it by saying, "Take this cup from me".

Jesus knows the sting of unanswered prayer. His longest prayer ever recorded in John 17, is a plea that all believers would be in unity. That "All of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you." Do you see that happening? Nope. Not yet. Does that mean God said no? Seems like having us all in unity would be his will, right? But it aint happening or if it is it sure is happening slowly!

So if God hasn't denied the request, then the prayer is hung up in "wait" mode. It's just not time yet for that request to be granted fully. This gives us hope. Hope that even when a request is hung up somewhere, it doesn't mean it's not going to be answered; it just may mean it's not time for it to be answered.

What about when Jesus spent the whole stinking night in prayer before he chose his 12 disciples. I'm sure the hours he sacrificed sleep were all about asking God to help him choose the right guys. And when he learned that one of them was a traitor, did he look up to God and say, “Um, did you make a mistake here about this one?” “Or did I make a mistake and not hear you correctly?” Or maybe it wasn't a mistake at all. Obviously it was a part of God's plan. Judas brought Jesus to the cross which was God's plan to begin with. See, even when it seems prayer went the wrong way; it may have been the right way after all. Who knows if the prayers you didn't think got answered, really did… with an answer you didn't recognize.

If prayer doesn't matter and God doesn't answer, then why did Jesus pray? And better yet, why did he tell us to do the same?

Jesus prayed as if it made a difference.

The Bible says we do not have certain things because we do not ask God for them. (James 4:2). Evidently God will withhold things from us if we don't ask. That right there makes me want to pray!

I once heard Myles Monroe say something about a dream he had. The gist of the dream was that God has a storehouse in heaven. God took Myles up to that storehouse to view what was on the shelves. There were all kinds of great stuff piled up in there. Stuff Myles had wanted all his life. He asked God why all of that stuff was on the shelves. God said, "Those are the things that are yours, but you never asked for them."

Not sure about you, but I don't want any of my stuff to stay on a shelf piled up somewhere. The things I want and need are there for the taking. They are there for the asking!

If prayer didn't make a difference or if God doesn't hear our prayers, then why did Jesus model a response like God's to the widow who lost her son, to the outcast woman who's bleeding would not stop, and to a Roman officer whose servant had died? In each of these events Jesus showed them that God, the Father, does hear their prayers. And that their prayers matter. Their prayers were answered.

Jesus knew more about the will of God than any other being on the face of the planet, and in the heavenlies for that matter. Yet, he still peppered God with his requests. Taking our cues from Jesus, I would say, “Yes, pray. Even if it doesn't seem to matter...it does!”