"In Jesus Name" - Day 10

Unanswered Prayer

I remember watching as a mother and father, still basking in the excitement of the birth of their new baby, held their precious son in their arms. This sweet baby boy was facing a mountain of physical problems, and there were multiple surgeries and hardships in his future. Yet in the midst of what looked like a desperate and discouraging situation, his mother exclaimed, “Every one of my prayers has been answered!”
Many of us would look at the graveness of her circumstances and question her statement. But God looked at her heart and knew this statement came from a well of faith, because she had entered into a partnership of trust with Him. Things may not be the way she had planned, but she understood that God is in control of everything that happens to us.
Things don’t always work out the way we hope, pray and believe. The Bible tells the story of a very good, wise, wealthy man named Job who endured terrible tragedy: He lost all his riches. All ten of his children were killed. And, he developed a severe and painful skin disease. Yet through it all, Job realized his trust in God should not depend on what happens to him. In Job 1:20 (NLT), he cried out, “Praise the name of the Lord!” The reason Job could praise the Lord is because he understood the praiseworthiness of God did not depend on his circumstances. Job didn’t praise God for his unfortunate circumstances; He praised God because of His unchanging nature.
Just because God directs us to pray a certain way doesn’t mean our prayers are going to be answered in the way we expect. Not too long ago, I was praying for a beautiful godly woman whose life was being threatened by a sudden and deadly disease. As family and friends stood at her hospital bed and prayed for healing, we began to feel confirmation in our spirits that she would be healed. Yet, despite our faith and cries to the Lord, her heart stopped beating, and she entered into the presence of God. Many who prayed for her healing wrestled from a place of brokenness and pain, asking God why their prayers went unanswered. We began to question God. We couldn’t find the answers. They had done all they could. Then God began to speak. He had answered. He had shown up—He had rescued His daughter and brought her home to be with Him! Peace began to fill the emptiness, and we knew He is good and His will is perfect.
Job also had to acknowledge the sovereignty of God and recognize His authority and power to do as He pleases. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” All we have to do is trust God and ask Him for strength and comfort in whatever we go through. In His Word, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Instead of questioning God about the prayers that were not answered the way we anticipated, we need to ask the Father for a greater understanding of His sovereignty. Certainly, we should always pray for others and ourselves, wanting, expecting and waiting for God to answer. Yet, in order to completely release God into our prayer lives, we must understand that it’s not so much about what we pray but rather Who we are praying to. The key to understanding unanswered prayer is to live and pray from a captivated heart and, ultimately, trust in the goodness, greatness, love and faithfulness of our God.
Just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He don’t care, Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
~ Garth Brooks

Prayer

Father, let me not grow impatient when I don’t see the answers I want to my prayers. Help me to seek Your will and not my own. When the answer comes in a different way than I expect, open my heart and mind to new facets of who You are. Help me to stand, knowing that You are a loving and sovereign God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Activation

  • Memorize Psalm 150. These verses will fill your heart and prayers with praise.
  • Ask God the questions you have on your heart concerning unanswered prayers, and listen for His answer.
  • Pray for an understanding of the fullness and sovereignty of God.

Memory Verse

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:1–3 (NLT)

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