Lou Flooks
Louise Flooks March 24


Disappointment and Prayer

“God’s presence seemed stronger than I have experienced for a long time.”

“I found it inspiring looking at the beginning of Daniel in the context of thinking about our young people, and it has encouraged me to think about and pray more for them.”

One of our children said, “It made me feel more like a Christian.” 

These are just three of the overwhelmingly positive comments we had from the week of prayer, but I wonder how you felt at the end of the week.

Perhaps you too were elated?  You encountered God in fresh ways. Perhaps you felt gratitude, for the environment and inspiration a prayer room gives? Perhaps you felt regret or guilt. ‘I should have prayed more.’ Or, perhaps like one person I spoke to, it felt more like disappointment? You were expecting more from yourself, others or God? Chances are you feel a mix of these and others I haven’t mentioned.

As an emotion, researchers describe disappointment as a form of sadness — a feeling of loss, an uncomfortable space (or a painful gap) between our expectations and reality.

Recently I’ve been reflecting on this. That the journey of life from beginning to end is a series of gains, but ultimately losses. Nothing is permanent, nothing is unchanging. Losses of what we have, and losses of what we hoped for. 

As Christian’s we don’t get a, ‘get out of jail free card’. We experience the loss just like everyone else, but with a difference. Ultimately, eternally, God does not disappoint us. He is the one thing; we will never need to grieve the loss of or sit with the disappointment of.

We may experience temporary disappointment, just like the apostle Paul did when reflecting on the Jewish nation. He described it as a ‘deep anguish’ in his heart that so many had rejected the messiah. He was never free of this disappointment in his lifetime, but ultimately, he balanced this with his certain hope in God. He trusted that God is a God who keeps his promises and ultimately God would not disappoint.  

When praying for our young people, we experience often crushing disappointment of them walking away, we pray and pray, but God seems silent. When thinking about this, we need to remember God’s own heartache.

All day long I have held out my hands
    to an obstinate people,
who walk in ways not good,
    pursuing their own imaginations— Isaiah 65:2

The pain we experience is part of being a Chirstian, our heart joining with His in lament, but God also allows us to join with Him in joy, in seeing our prayers answered, when one prodigal comes to faith! We rejoice with the angels, celebrating the mercy of God and looking expectantly for more, from the God who is ‘not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’  (2 Peter 3:9)

In our world our young people are slipping out of church at astonishing rates, but we know that we have a God who came to seek and save the lost. At the same time, we know that young people are coming to faith, seeking God in 24/7 prayer rooms across the globe, sharing their faith boldly and speaking of revival.

And so let us not give up praying, interceding with the Spirit, holding on to the hope of the salvation offered to everyone who believes, even if it’s a painful path along the way.

Louise Flooks

Mission & Outreach Pastor