As those of you who have followed for awhile know, I've been keeping track of my prayers for the past couple of months. The results aren't conclusive, but in general, the "little prayers" for small things and the "daily bread" prayers for things that are, well, daily, have been "yes." The "no's" have been clear and obvious, but the vast majority have been unanswered, at least as for now.
One other thing I've been observing is that as I've prayed about some of the things that are unanswered, I am sensing a shift in me, especially as it begins to appear that the answer will be "no." I am becoming more ready to accept the "no" that seems to be coming.
Oh I still hold out hope for a "yes," but part of me is letting go a bit, and saying, "I will survive even if the answer is 'no.'"
Now I'm not quite sure what to do with that kind of answer. It would be a "no" to the original prayer, but oddly there is a kind of "yes" in it as well. A "yes" to accepting God's will...or perhaps simply the free will of others.
The other thing I'm learning is that if I want to experience a "yes" to a prayer, it's best to pray for the small and the daily, not the big and the lengthy. When I ask for the ability to get through just this crisis du moment, I generally get it. (Not always. On a few occasions the crisis du moment became the crisis du jour et nuit and the next jour, too.)
And finally, sometimes the answer to prayer isn't at all what we expect. Today I have been struggling with grief, with fear, with worry, with lonliness and a few other negatives as well. I expected to bury myself in work, but instead a friend came by on his bike and talked for awhile about his upcoming trip to France. I didn't know that's what I needed, but I guess it was. Even though the work didn't quite get done!