Unanswered Prayer & Scripture References to Help You Understand How God Sees You
|October 5, 2021|
What do we do with or what is our reaction to the following:
· Will my prayer(s) ever get answered?
· Why was the answer to my prayer NOT what I was praying for?
· Does any of the following sound familiar?
· Prayed healing for a loved one who passed away.
· Prayed restoration for a marriage which ended in divorce.
· Prayed for the country that seems to continue to decline in integrity.
· Prayed for a son or daughter who chose to walk away from the faith of their youth and have little to no relationship with the family.
· Prayed for better work environment yet continue to remain unfulfilled in what I am doing.
Before going any further, I need to acknowledge that this is a complex subject of which many books have been written. I also recognize we don’t always understand God’s purposes, His plans for us or the person we’re praying for. And I can’t leave out sin and disobedience. Sometimes I think the second greatest gift God has given us (the first being Salvation!) is the freedom to choose. The freedom to make personal choices. How many times have we chosen poorly?!
But, what I’m talking about today is …….what do we do with the waiting or the disappointment of unfulfilled prayer? Do we find ourselves debating or arguing with God? Example #1 – You have a sick friend who loves God. You believe in Matthew 6:10, Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. You know there’s no sickness or disease in heaven. So, why Lord, are you not healing my friend? Wait, you remember a snippet of scripture: only God knows the plans He’s made for us, which is kind of taken out of context but it helps in the not understanding. To which you then point out to God the “obvious” – what a powerful testimony if you healed my friend. And the cycle begins again.
Example #2 – You are in what you consider to be a dead end job. You’ve reached a stage in life where you want to do more for God; but, you still need to provide financially for your family. You pray and pray and pray for the Lord to move you out of this current job and into a new job where you can use your experiences, expertise and giftings to further His Kingdom. You’ve fasted and prayed about this for a long time. Nothing happens. You share with God his word found in Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Do you find yourself saying, “You know I love you Lord, why am I still stuck here?”
In the last days of his life, Jesus/Yeshua prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Mathew 25:39, “….Yet not as I will but as you will.” We know he was fully God and fully man. He knew he had to go to the cross to be the atoning sacrifice – but no one says, “Gee, I am really looking forward to being tortured, spat upon, nailed to a cross and die in agony.” In those simple words we see the honesty of how he felt and the reality of what he needed to do. Now let us be honest. Most of us do not face the same trials Jesus/Yeshua faced. However, can we, in belief, apply these same words to our prayers – not my will but yours, Lord?
Or, are we tempted to unjustifiably take ownership of why our prayers aren’t being answered, or why the answer was no? Do we confirm our perceived failings by using God’s word to beat ourselves down? Do we (sometimes) actually believe we are unworthy to receive God’s blessings?
· James 4:3 – When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives…… Are my motivations wrong? Am I being selfish in my prayers? Do I want my way?
· John 15:7 – If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. Obviously Lord, my relationship is not where it is supposed to be because I am asking and all I hear are crickets.
· Isaiah 59:2 – If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Lord, am I such a sinner that my prayers will not be answered; that you won’t even listen to me?
· Mark 11:24 – Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Well, apparently, I don’t have the faith to believe you will answer.
My purpose is to articulate that while we may not confess these thoughts and scriptures out loud – we have probably, at times, pondered them in our hearts and minds. In the near future, we will begin to address challenging prayer topics. But, we must first learn to acknowledge the “stinkin’ thinkin’”, and then embrace who we are in Christ. And THAT is what I’ll talk about next week. So, I have homework for you. Please click HERE and read some of the scriptures. Perhaps pick one and ponder on it for the next week or so.
Coming up on Saturday, October 30 – Encircle Tucson with Prayer. Please click HERE for more information.
Blessings & Shalom,