Join Pastor Steve Hofmeister has he shares a lesson from his own personal journey on how we can sabotage our own prayers and close our eyes to God’s answers.
I want to set a bit of an unusual stage in your mind today.
Imagine you awaken in a smoke-filled room.
You stand up and realize you can’t see anything in the smoke.
It’s Not a lesson on fire safety or evacuation. It’s an illustration of how many of us feel in tough situations.
How many of us have felt powerless like this at some point?
I’m not immune to this as a matter of fact, this is a journey and awakening I recently traveled.
I’m a firm believer in the power of prayer, but I’ve come to realize that sometimes despite our belief and commitment to prayer we put walls in the way of those prayers being answered.
My specific journey was a humility problem.
Can humility really be a problem?
Before this life lesson, I would have answered no, but humility just like pride and stubbornness can derail even the most sincere prayer sometimes.
My humility stopped me from the willingness to reach out for help.
Here’s a short background for you. If you follow my social media accounts you will know (well at least at the time of this recording) that I have been undergoing extensive occupational therapy for a medical condition I have had since childhood. A financial crisis surfaced when it became apparent that the necessary medical items I require are not covered by my medical coverage to the tune of several thousand dollars.
Now that you know the background, I can continue to say that of course I put this to prayer and I asked others to pray also. Humility became a wall because I refused to listen to several people all telling me to do an online crowd-funding campaign. Being a person who usually is focused on helping others I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of asking for help for myself. Why? Because I had my head in the smoke. I refused to see that the answer to my prayer was this strong prompting to do the crowd-funding campaign. But we’ll circle back to the crowd-funding thing.
In this, I identified some points I needed to consider and boiled them down into some key points. I’m fairly certain this is not something groundbreaking or new but to my journey, it was a deep realization I need to share.
This is my A List of not blocking an answer to prayer. I meditated on Matthew 7:7-8 when putting this together.
7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
- Accepting Help (Finding The Door) – Realize That You Won’t Find The Door If You Only Focus On Your WallsIf you find yourself standing in the smoke of trouble or despair, feel along your walls until you find the door, don’t just stand there suffocating waiting to be rescued. Don’t let your stubbornness, anxieties, pride, and yes even humbleness be a wall between you and your door, that door being the answer to your prayer.
- Acknowledging Help (Walking through the door) You accept that you need help, now you have to be willing to take it.Now that you have found the door, and realized your knocking has opened it, you acknowledge it by taking the next step of walking through it.Now here is a clinch in this. You might not always like what you will find on the other side of the door, and you will not always understand the answer, but you have to acknowledge that it’s the Lord’s will to your call for help. (A crude example would be a drug addict getting an opportunity to go through rehabilitation. They might not be happy about it, but it is the means to help they need.)
- Appreciating Help (Appreciate what lies ahead) Have respect for what is to come as a result, even if it is not the answer to the prayer you expected.
Prayer is not like the old tales of rubbing a genie’s lamp and getting what you want.
Sometimes, what we want is the furthest thing from what we need or what is part of God’s plan for us.
- Applying Help (Don’t just stand there) Follow through, so many blessings go wasted because we don’t follow them through.
If your answer leads you to make a life change, don’t make excuses and put it off. Do It.
My Dad raised me to understand one simple truth. The only useless question is the one not asked, the worst answer you can ever hear is no. As long as you are prepared to hear the word no, you can’t be disappointed by it. So take that chance to follow that prayer answer.
- Accelerate That Help On To Others (Paying It Forward or Praying It Forward) Use the wisdom you gain from your blessings to help others.
There’s a lesson in every blessing, even the ones you didn’t quite enjoy at first. The Bible is chock full of people doing just that, teaching from the lessons they have personally learned not just from biblical doctrine, but from the blessings and knowledge they received from prayer. Use your blessings and prayer journey to bless and educate others.
This is the journey I’m on now, and this episode is part of my Acceleration of blessing on to you the listener. As for the crowd-funding campaign I said we would circle back to. If I had not opened my mind, followed past the wall of my blinding humility in this case and found the door, I would not have started the crowd-funding campaign that has at the time of this record raised 80% of the money I need to get my required medical items.
Now of course just because this worked as my blessing does not mean you will net the same results. The final lesson is don’t let you walls block your blessings, always keep seeking, sometimes the answer to your prayers is provided right in front of you, if you get out of your own way to see them.
About Your Host
Rev. Steven D. Hofmeister
Pastor Steve serves as the Senior Pastor & President of Diakonos Independent Ministries of Maryland in Abingdon, Maryland.
Pastor Steve is also the host of the Quick Points with Pastor Steve Podcast on Spotify, and writes articles regularly on multiple websites. He is involved in many community oriented projects ranging from public school reform issues to general community support and outreach.