Unanswered Prayer–What Do I Do With It?
An unanswered prayer is like a nose or an opinion. We all have at least one! So, what do I do with it? I can doggedly clench my unanswered prayer and allow it to debilitate me by insisting God answer my prayer a certain way before I engage life again. Or…what? What other option do I have? I can lay it down at the feet of Jesus and trust Him, believe that He knows best, and live my life robustly again. I choose the latter.
We are tempted oftentimes to push the pause button on living while we’re waiting for an answer. Seriously, that gets us nowhere. Life plays with or without our participation. It’s during those times of waiting that we must remind ourselves of all the prayers God has answered in our lifetime. Just because we think He is slow to answer doesn’t mean He loves us any less. His love never diminishes. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Have you heard judgmental conclusions like this before? “Where is her faith?” “His faith is not strong enough.” “If she had more faith, she would be healed.” Oh yea! And how do they know that? Only God sees and knows the heart of a person.
By the way, is true faith showcased only when our every prayer is answered, or is it never more evident than in a victorious life in the midst of unanswered prayer? Many of those listed in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter eleven did not receive answers to their prayers in this life. “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:39-40).
“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust” (Psalm 25:1). “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise” (Psalm 57:7 KJV). The word fixed here means steadfast. In my East Texas brain, it also means repaired. My heart is both!
My perception of God’s “silence” regarding my prayer request will not determine my love and relationship with Him. I choose to believe and trust in the One True God who holds the world in His hands.
God may never answer my “Why?” question. He may not answer my prayer in the exact way I think He should. I’m okay with that, because He’s God and I’m not. He knows best. I serve Him, not vice versa. Four things I know: 1) God loves me. 2) He sees the big picture. 3) I will trust Him. 4) I will continue to love and worship Him and grow in relationship with Him by reading His Word daily, no matter what happens or doesn’t happen in my life.
Unanswered prayer—what do I do with it? I give it to Jesus and continue to pray and trust my Heavenly Father. I love, follow, and serve Him with all my heart and soul. My mind is made up, and in the middle of it all, He gives me peace and joy every day. “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1KJV).