Understanding Unanswered Prayers (my story)

unanswered prayers
I know this is long, but I also know that God knows someone today needs to read this…I pray it helps many and I hope that each one of you will take the four to five minutes it takes to read it. Please feel free to share as well.

Unanswered Prayers!

Our all-powerful, all-loving God encourages us to ask Him for what we want. But sometimes, after we’ve put it out there, He seems to turn and walk in the opposite direction. We are left with questions: Why did He want us to pray if He was just going to say no, anyway? Were we praying “wrong” in the first place? What are we supposed to do now?

I have repeated this cycle multiple times. More than seven years ago, I began experimenting heavily in drugs and became addicted for about six months. This resulted in losing everything that meant anything to me, my home, my children, my career, my car, my family and friends, you name it. but more importantly, it also resulted in my salvation and my freedom. Praise God! I have always believed in God and Jesus, but never had I truly had a relationship with God nor had I ever read the Bible. For the last seven 1/2 years, I asked God for restoration and to replenish my loss. He has done this slowly but therefore during this time I have grown and grown even more with each passing day.

I must confess that during this last seven years, I have confessed and repented of every sin I can think of, wept, protested and spent more than a few days crippled by despair.

 
woman praying distress on her face
WE TEND TO HAVE ONE OF TWO RESPONSES WHEN WHAT WE ASKED FOR IS NOT GIVEN IN A TIMELY FASHION: TRYING HARDER OR ANGRY BLAMING.

Apparently, I am not the only one who struggled because of unanswered prayer. Once, I invited friends to fill in the blank on my Facebook wall: “Unanswered prayer is … ” I received more than 40 responses, including the following: is deeply disappointing, makes me feel unloved, feels like a betrayal, is confusing, can be overwhelming, is business as usual.

Some of our bewilderment emerges because we actually believe that God is all powerful and that He not only wants us to come to Him like little children, but also encourages us to ask Him for everything, from babies to spouses to jobs to housing to help losing weight. Hence the disconnect when He doesn’t always give us what we want.

This paradox reminds me of my daughter’s attitude at Christmas. She starts composing her gift list in September, and for the next four months, she revised, added to and shamelessly shared it. Yet when Christmas day rolls around, she was filled with dread—because experience has shown her that though I am a good parent, I don’t always give her precisely what she requests. She has told me, “Why bother asking me if you aren’t going to buy me exactly what I want?” She’s a good kid, but just a typical teenager… wants everything now! Isn’t this how we feel about our heavenly Father? We tend to have one of two responses when what we asked for is not given in a timely fashion: trying harder or angry blaming.


None of us can make ourselves worthy—that only comes as a gift from Jesus. Angry blaming similarly leads us into a dead-end. In my many nights of an insomnia jag, I remember spewing at God, “Why don’t you help me get to sleep? The Bible tells me that you give sleep to those you love! Don’t you love me?” Powerlessness is its own form of suffering. When we’ve run out of other options, anger and blame give us the illusion of control. But it really is only an illusion. It didn’t help my faith, and it certainly didn’t help me to sleep.
 
reason for closed doors
WHAT IF, RATHER THAN INTERPRETING GOD’S “NO” OR “NOT YET” AS PUNISHMENT OR INDIFFERENCE, WE VIEW IT AS AN INVITATION TO BE TRANSFORMED?

For us to avoid these and other unhelpful responses when our prayers aren’t answered the way we’d hoped, we need to zoom out and glimpse the larger story.

Every day, there is an epic battle being waged for our hearts. The enemy of our soul has an entire arsenal at his disposal, but his go-to weapon is doubt. Adam and Eve didn’t disobey because they craved the apple, but because they fell for the serpent’s ruse that God was withholding good things from them. If you ever find yourself doubting God’s love or questioning His character, push back—hold to what you know to be true.

Expressing gratitude also helps to defuse our despair and suffering. Due to my past mistakes, there are some things that I may never have restored, but I constantly thank God for the many gifts He bestows upon me daily. I have realized that turning our hearts to God in gratitude has the capacity to flip our disappointment upside-down.

Finally, we must be willing to explore any attachment to entitlement that might contribute to our resentment at how God has answered our prayer. We live in a consumer society and have become accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. Jesus does not promise to give us everything that we want but rather asks us to sacrifice everything—including our own desires for a specific outcome or result. This changes everything when it comes to how we pray.

 
test of faith
What if, rather than interpreting God’s “no” or “not yet” as punishment or indifference, we view it as an invitation to be transformed? C.S. Lewis writes in The Problem of Pain, “We are a Divine work of art, something that God is making and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character.”

The possibility that waiting and suffering have the capacity to transform us offers us profound comfort while crushing our fear of God being fickle. Rather than needing God to answer my accusatory questions of “Why?” I am free to ask, “How can I find You in the midst of this?” This inquiry provides us with the traction we need to move beyond our pain and into the transformation that God has for us.

Finally, when God doesn’t answer our prayers choose to see it as a blessing and a chance to grow in wisdom and ask Him to reveal to you when you need to learn here. God wants the best for his children and no matter what we feel or think, God will take care of us because Our Father does know BEST!

 
unanswered prayers and understanding
 
Now my response is….. Teach me Lord, while I wait!
i'll wait
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About Jesus is a safe harbor

I am a follower of Jesus. I am a grateful delivered woman who was once an addict, but now God has restored me and renewed me. I have been redeemed and remade by our Creator through salvation of His Son, Jesus Christ! I just want to share what God has done in my life that you may have the opportunity to experience the same joy He gave me. I give God all the glory for everything in my life for I couldn't accomplish anything apart from Him. If ye shall know the truth, the truth shall set you free, John 8:32. He puts people in my life that help me and gives me the opportunity to help another. I am never surprised by his love and blessings. God has placed a confidence and love in myself that I have never had before… so "Thank you God".. for the many True Blue Christians you have put in my life and for all the blessings you bestow on me daily. I have not come this far without lots of prayers and the help and love of my true friends and family and I thank you God for those special people in my life. You are 100% my Savior! I will forever have your name on my lips. I realize now with lots of prayer and reading of the Word… that all the answers were here for me and I never asked the questions. Although I still struggle daily with other life’s daily cards that are dealt, I have an attitude now of “NO MATTER WHAT “– I will praise You, Lord~~~through my storms and my triumphs! I have much more to share and would love to answer any questions anyone may have for through all my trials what has come to be is that I want to help others to see what I didn’t see and hopefully prevent the same hurts, guilt, shame and woes that I had to deal with and give them the best gift of all… JESUS! I believe it's important that we know who we are in God ... We are a one of a kind and God has made us like no other for a purpose- His purpose. Yes, bad things happen and yes, we make poor choices, but we don't have to continue to make them. God's mercies are new each day. Once we realize, know and most importantly believe who we are in Christ, that we are a child of God, we are not an accident, and whatever the circumstances before us each day no matter what they are... God gives us the choice and the power of Him to choose right and live right. We no longer have to live in the past, but in the present and look with expectation to the future with God by our side guiding us and directing our steps. He is our strength and our hope needs to reside in Him. Let his power and love work in your life today and see that life does not have to be the way you are living now. He wants to help you, but you have to let him. He can't make us come to him, he is not lost - WE ARE! Please share this blog with others to encourage them for the glory of God!
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