Question: You say that God can and wants to turn my personal weaknesses into strong points. I’ve prayed for that, but so far nothing has changed. Why doesn’t God answer my prayer? 

Answer: It sounds like you expect God to work an overnight wonder in you, with nothing required of you beyond wanting and praying to do better. That’s not the way it works. God will do for you what only He can do, but He also expects you to do what you can. It takes both. Personal growth is a partnership.

God heard your prayer and brought the desired answer into the realm of possibility the instant you prayed, but now it is up to you to put the answer into effect and make it a reality. You need to start acting changed, even if you don’t feel changed. If you prayed to be less negative and critical of others, for example, you need to make an effort to be positive and see the good in others. God will inspire positive thoughts and help you catch yourself when you begin to become negative or critical, but then you have to follow His lead and deliberately choose the good and reject the bad. Desiring to change and praying for that was the right choice, but now you need to make that choice over and over until it becomes second nature.

Inner change is a process that takes commitment, time, effort, and patience, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences in life.

Add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.

—2 Peter 1:5 NIV

You can’t have a physical transformation until you have a spiritual transformation.

—Cory Booker (b. 1969)

Change can be hard. It requires no extra effort to settle for the same old thing. Auto-pilot keeps us locked into past patterns. But transforming your life? That requires courage, commitment, and effort. It’s tempting to stay camped in the zone of That’s-Just-How-It-Is. But to get to the really good stuff in life, you have to be willing to become an explorer and adventurer.

—John Mark Green

No matter what has happened to you in the past or what is going on in your life right now, it has no power to keep you from having an amazingly good future if you will walk by faith in God. God loves you! He wants you to live with victory over sin so you can possess His promises for your life today!

Joyce Meyer (b. 1943)