Category Archives: Marriage

Why isn’t God answering my prayer?

Why isn’t God answering my prayer?

That was the question I couldn’t answer at the time.

Last night I ran into someone I haven’t seen in a while. The last time I saw them they were going through the biggest trial of their lives. They had moved to Maryland because of their employment and their wife thought this was the perfect time to end their marriage.

I remember praying with this person, trying to help them understand what was happening and trying to put a plan together to win her back! This person fasted for days, prayed like never before, read a ton of books on marriage and tried to understand his wife. However, there was no fairly tale end to this story. The wife demanded a divorce, the man was crushed and the question he asked me haunted me for months, ‘Why isn’t God answering my prayer?’

To be honest I had no idea! I mean why doesn’t God answer some prayers when quite clearly the bible says ask and it shall be given.

However, as I look back on that situation it is now clear what was going on. This man was going through a trial, so his focus became about that trial. The purpose behind the prayer was the trial. The focus on the fasting was the trial. The change in attitude towards his wife was because of the trial. This was a good man who wanted to save his marriage, but in the midst of a trial so often our focus becomes the trial. We try this and that to stop the pain, when in reality our focus should be Jesus not the trial.

Sometimes God allows a prayer not to be answered in order to take us to a place where our focus becomes him and him alone. A place where we pray just to talk to him not pray to get something. Where we fast to go deeper with him, not to get a breakthrough. Where we treat people well because we the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, not trying to convince others we have changed.

I think some people don’t receive their answer to prayer because God is looking for a response from them, but sometimes we can be focused on our trial that we miss what God is actually trying to do through us!

So today, if you are going through a trial! Take your focus off it, put it on Jesus and ask him to do through you what we needs to do!


You’ve Come So Far!

On Sunday morning I looked at all the faces of the people at Generation Church and the thought came to me, ‘haven’t we come such a long way’.

I wasn’t thinking numerically or financially. I wasn’t thinking about the space we were meeting in compared to a living room only five months ago. Yes we had grown in all those areas, but it was the life paths so many of the people have been on.

I started to think of those who would not have been in church that day unless Generation Church had started. I thought of the marriages that would have broken up if not for the love and support the people of Gen Church had given them. I thought of those who only a few months ago were so closed off to Jesus, now worshiping God in their own unique way.

Then I started to think of how far I had come. From sitting in my church office only two years ago thinking life was great because our church was growing, but having not had a meaningful conversation with someone outside of ‘the faith’ in over five years. To now, not having an office, not having a church salary, not organizing event after event to keep all the church people happy; yet week after week having conversation after conversation with people who do not know God. Reaching out to people I was told I’d never reach. Seeing Christ transform life after life in His image, not ours!

I haven’t got there yet, wherever there is. There is still long way to go. However, as I look back I can’t help but think how far I have come, how far the many of us have come.

Yes there were times when I didn’t even think I’d make another step, times of wanting to give up. Times when the opposition of others almost killed my spirit and faith; but God held strong! He carried me and I’ve watched Him carry so many others and now I can only look back and think, wow, I can’t believe we have come this far!

You may be going through some stuff today. However, just look back and take in for a moment how far you have come! It’s probably way further than you could ever imagine! Then look forward and keep on going!


What Is Healthy Margin?

When I started school  in the early to mid 1980’s one of the first things we learned to do when we began to write was to draw a margin on our paper.

We would measure a couple of inches at the top and bottom to the left of the paper and draw a straight line down. The teacher would tell us that margins are important. There were two reasons we drew a margin. The first was to make sure everything was neatly in a straight line (that was about the only thing that was neat on my paper, my writing was and still is horrible!); the second was to be able to make notes or correct mistakes in the margin. These days we have computers to correct our mistakes, but back then we had to correct them in the margin.

As important as margins were back in elementary school, so personal margins are important in our lives today. So often we just tackle life head on without preparing for what we are going to be doing. Drawing a margin took no more than a minute, but it enabled the paper to be neat and also supplied a place to correct mistakes.

It only takes a short amount of time to create personal margin, yet it can create order in our lives and also a place to reflect and correct our mistakes. So often people forget to create healthy personal margin and their lives become cluttered and the different aspects of their lives start to run into each other.

I have found if I don’t create margin between the different parts of my life I start to stress, I start to let people down, I start to get overwhelmed, I start to break promises, I start to forget things and I start to go from problem to problem.

Basically margin is creating space in your life to plan, think, mend, enjoy and take a break from all the things that full our lives. Jesus was a man who created margin. Just ask the disciples who often found Jesus missing. He was not neglecting them, just drawing margins in His life so that when He was needed He was able to be fully engaged.

Try to create some margin in your life this week. I know your spouse, your kids, your friends, your employees and your peers will appreciate it.