Do you see the difference between making an isolated prayer request and praying in context of the story that God is weaving? God answered our prayer for Kim to speak, but the answer was inseparable from repenting, serving, managing, and waiting. Most of our prayers are answered in the context of the larger story that God is weaving.
Living in our Father’s story means living in tension. (Will the book get written? How can Kim speak if she can’t do sentence structure?) After all, tension and overwhelming obstacles make for a good story! How boring life would be if prayer worked like magic. There’d be no relationship with God, no victory over little pockets of evil. . . .
Look for the Storyteller. Look for his hand, and then pray in light of what you are seeing. . . .
When the story isn’t going your way, ask yourself, What is God doing? Be on the lookout for strange gifts. God loves to surprise us with babies in swaddling clothes lying in mangers.
Sometimes when we say “God is silent,” what’s really going on is that he hasn’t told the story the way we wanted it told. He will be silent when we want him to fill in the blanks of the story we are creating. But with his own stories, the ones we live in, he is seldom silent.
— Paul E. Miller, A Praying Life, p. 201