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Disappointment in prayer"
February 14, 2024

February 2024
Issue 215

Disappointment in prayer: the ugly truth

Valentine's Day seems like a good time to talk about disappointment in prayer. Have you prayed for a godly spouse? Who of us hasn't?

When we ask God for something that seems so right and it doesn't happen, disappointment in prayer is inevitable, but it's not a sin. It's a natural human reaction.

What can we do when we don't get what we want? We can give up, as many have. We can get angry and bitter, as I did for several years. Or we can face the truth that God is never wrong.

We know, logically, that God is never wrong. After all, a God who makes mistakes would be imperfect. By definition, God is perfect.

All that logic doesn't ease our frustration, though. Most of us spend a lifetime learning we can't manipulate God. Grown-up prayers force us to accept God's lordship over our life then look to him for our true happiness. Tough to do.

Here's how I believe God wants us to respond to disappointment in prayer.

We need your grace

Smiling people sad and lonely,
happy faces hiding sorrow.
Masquerading as successes,
trying to make it to tomorrow.

Are we surprised
at all the stupid games we play?
Are we surprised that they're not working?
Long ago we lost our way.

We need your grace.
We need your care and consolation.
Lord, we long to see your face.
The world's gone in the wrong direction.
It's become a painful place.
Heal us with your love today.
Lord, we need your grace.

How can we ignore the answer?
Truth and love are ours to claim.
Seek the Lord and his forgiveness.
Hope is found in Jesus' name.

We need your grace.
We need the peace that you can give.
Lord, we long to see your face.
Everything we try has failed us.
The remedy is your embrace.
Heal us with your love today.
Lord, we need your grace

~ Jack Zavada,, 2024 ~

Why I don't ask you for money

When I launched in 2005, I decided not to ask visitors for donations. This is not a ministry with hundreds of employees. It's just a guy working in his home office trying to spread the gospel and make life a little better for single people.

Every month the web site gets visitors from more than 100 countries. At first, advertising paid the bills, but today that income source brings in very little. Any revenue at all has to come from the sale of my book.

Hope for Hurting Singles is something you can't find in stores. Because it was written by a lifelong single and not a married pastor, it is unique. It's real world advice based on decades of trial-and-error.

At $10.99 in paperback and $3.99 for the Kindle version, Hope for Hurting Singles is not expensive, and I truly believe it's packed with wisdom it would take you years to discover on your own. Save yourself the time and trouble. Get your copy today.

QOTM: When love says 'no'

February's Quote of the Month comes from Ernest Easley, teaching pastor at First Baptist Church, Cleveland, TN:

"Sometimes it is God's grace that we don't receive what we think we want."

~ Rev. Ernest Easley ~

I think in heaven many of us will say, "Whoa!" when God shows us what might have happened if he had given us most of the things we prayed for. We'll let loose a big sigh of relief.

But here and now, our disappointment lays heavy on our hearts. We spend countless hours mourning over what might have been. What we don't realize is that our imagination is quite different from reality.

Every day we make mistakes about what we think will bring us happiness. Buying more stuff doesn't. Getting a raise or promotion only works for a little while. Earthly things can't bring spiritual contentment, and it's only when we give up on them that we find the lasting source of fulfillment.

God created a hole in your heart only he can fill. Nothing else fits, nothing else works. It's Jesus. It has always been Jesus and it always will be. Jesus is your true Valentine.

Survival tips for Christian singles

Often I feel like a space alien who has landed on a strange planet. I just don't fit in. Have you ever felt that way?

Whether it's current music, politics, or how people are acting in general, none of it agrees with what I believe. You and I get our standards from the Bible. We understand God gave us the Ten Commandments to protect us from self-destructive behavior. We obey him not only because we love him but because it's the wisest way to live.

God's way has never been more unpopular. Yet where is all this so-called freedom taking our society? Drug use and credit card debt have never been higher. Are those the characteristics of happy people?

Wait. Is there a connection between plummeting church attendance and rising rates of depression? Hmm. I wonder why?

We single Christians may be the most discriminated against minority group, yet you never see an article or TV program about that. Even in the church, where we should be getting the strongest support, the emphasis is on marriage and family.

So here are some tips from an old Christian single on how to keep the faith. We may be single but Jesus promised not to leave us orphans. See what he's got for you.

A thinking person's newsletter…

I hope I never make the mistake of underestimating the intelligence of my readers. I have presumed from the beginning that you are smart and sensitive. That's why I don't insult you with wild claims. The single life is damn tough, and if you're a Christian, it's even tougher.

Since I started this newsletter in 2005, the world has gotten even meaner and more frantic. It's a major load off knowing you're saved and a terrific advantage to have the constant guidance of the Holy Spirit. That's what I like to talk about.

I put a lot of time and effort into every newsletter. I want the articles to make you think about your life. God is the real agent of change. He's eager to go to work on you, and he can follow through on his promises of peace and joy because he's God. Satan is no match for him.

When you really think about it, we Christians have a lot to be grateful for. Sadly, we get dragged down by the aggravations of life and are so tense we hardly have time to think. But do that this week, single friend. Sit still in a comfortable chair, with your eyes closed and no distractions, and let God's love catch up with you. It's a breathtaking feeling.

Valentine's Day: yada, yada, yada

Yep, today is that dreaded day, the day I remind you once more that Jesus Christ is not a consolation prize.

Valentine's Day may be the most guilt-inducing holiday on the calendar. It's great if you have a sweetie—kinda depressing if you don't. Even so, I've gotten through so many of them alone that it's just another mosquito buzzing around my ear now. Not that there are a lot of mosquitos pestering me during an Illinois winter.

How about you? Have you learned how to get through Valentine's Day without any tears? Good on you if you have! This is one of those times when you have to ignore what other people think of you. This is adult life, not junior high. The haters and critics need to grow up.

You're all right. Jesus says so, and anybody who argues with him is wrong. Happy Valentine's Day from me to you, single pal. We survived another one!

So that's the February Inspire-O-Gram, with enough stuff for you to think about to last you until the March edition. I like to include my contact form, just in case you get the urge to tell me hi or tell me off.

The good news is today is also Ash Wednesday, leading up to my favorite holiday of the year, Easter. That's something every single Christian can get excited about.

Until March, then, I'll leave you with the romantic words of comedian Steven Wright: "I almost had a psychic girlfriend, but she left me before we met."

Jack Zavada

PS: Not a Christian? Find out how to become one!

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