Have you ever wondered, how does God answer prayers? Well the best way I can think of the answer is through the idea of winning and losing
Have you ever been runner up or felt like second best?
There are so many motivational quotes that say “Nobody remembers who finished second, except the guy who finished second.” It’s such a strong idea that if you try to give credit to the person who said it, the internet credits it to Charles Schulz, Bobby Unser and likely many others.
The Consolation Prize
Do you ever feel in your relationship with God that you’re going to miss out on the first-place prize? Like you’re praying for one thing, but with a sly look in His eye, God’s not going to give you that but instead will give you some other, not-quite-as-good thing, almost like a consolation prize?
If you’re honest, if you dig deep into your thoughts, do you see God as being a God of consolation prizes?
Have you ever been really scared of trusting God? It’s normal. It’s often so hard to trust God. Trusting is risky business.
Something That Really Scares Me
I felt so liberated when I recognised and realised this is one of the things I’m really scared of in my relationship with God. I was scared (and sometimes I’m still scared) I would open my present from God and it would be the wrong one because I didn’t wait longer to get what He really had for me.
To make it more real, this is how I felt as I was waiting for God to provide me with my husband. I was afraid God would give me a very Godly man, who was dry and humourless and bored me to tears. I imagined he would wear suits all the time and quote spiritual books and the Bible exclusively. I was scared God would skip over giving me the first prize and instead I’d get a consolation prize.
God Is Not a God of Consolation Prizes
It took a long time before I realised, God is not a God of consolation prizes! What God has for me is for me! This was confirmed to me when I met my husband.
I now know with certainty, I will never open my present from God and find the wrong thing. Right now, what God has for me, already has my name on it. It’s as if it were Christmas time. My present is sitting under the tree, already wrapped, just waiting for the right time to come along for me to receive it.
James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift comes from God.”
If you dig deep down inside, do you believe God is a God of consolation prizes or do you believe that your present already has your name on it, just waiting for the right moment to be presented to you?
How Does God Answer Prayer?
There’s one more important reason why God is not a God of consolation prizes. Not because he’s a winner or because He’s God and He can only finish first. No. It’s because in the end, God is the prize.
Whatever it is that you’re praying for, whether a spouse, a house, a car, school, a job, whatever it is, it’s not the prize. In the end, God is the prize. Above anything else in this life, God wants a relationship with us. Everything else is the cherry on top. They’re all beautiful things to have, but to have them and not have God, is to have nothing.
God is not a God of consolation prizes because He is the prize.