There are some who would say to you, “If you have enough faith, if you pray God will answer your prayer.”  I wish I promise you that if you prayed nothing bad would ever happen to you; that you would never get sick, that you would never lose your job, that your kids would never go through a rebellious phase.  Sometimes you hear promises like that on the radio and television.  I would love to be able to promise you that, but I can’t.
 In fact, chances are you will go through difficult times; times when you pray for something and don’t get the answer that you want.  You may feel times of loneliness and desolation, and you wonder, “Is anyone even listening?  Is there anyone here?  Does anyone care?  What do you do about times like that?
On Sunday as we continue our series on being a “Circle Maker” in prayer we will deal with an issue that is common but can be very troubling.  It is one that occurs with everyone who prays at some point.  It is the issue of unanswered prayer.  There are extravagant promises in the Bible about how our prayers get answered.  And yet at some point, every one of us is going to pray a prayer that just doesn’t result in the answer we want.  What about that?  How does that work?   
Have you ever dealt with that question?  Maybe you or a friend or a co-worker, or a family member is struggling with that right now.  I hope you will invite them and join you as we gather in worship on Sunday and how we must be persistent in prayer.