Unanswered Prayers

Gospel Message & Recording

A straightforward reading of today’s Gospel passage would lead us to believe that if we pray for something, we would receive that from God. “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, and knock and the door shall be open to you.” (Luke 11: 9-13) Wow, Really! So, if we ask for it, we are going to get it? Not exactly! We have to continue reading the passage. Jesus continues to say, “If you then, being evil, know how to give what is good to your kids, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” (Luke 11:13) The ultimate goal of asking for anything in life is to “acquire” the Holy Spirit. If our request is selfish or not in line with where God wants us to go in life, then such prayers will not be answered. Prayer is essentially a “communication” with God to “strengthen” our relationship with Him. So then how do we deal with our prayer requests that seem legitimate and unselfish and seem to be unanswered?

This is often a serious concern for a Christian. Even for someone who has a strong relationship with God, there is an expectation that if I pray “really hard” I will move the hand of God and then my situation, however difficult, will change. But what if nothing changes, or at best, there is minimal change? How do we deal with that? In other words, simply put: how do we deal with unanswered prayer.

God is teaching us to be patient so that we can trust Him: Fervently waiting for our prayers to be answered is something we all do. But after a while, we begin to lose our patience and wonder why God has not answered yet. Sometimes, God is working behind the scenes and waiting for the right time to answer. But, let us be clear that God is not playing a “waiting room” game. He is not having fun with our problems. Rather, he knows the right time and the right place for our prayers to come to fruition. Waiting calls on us to trust God more. For example, we can give our kids food whenever they ask but we know that certain types of foods are best for certain types of meals; and therefore, our child has to wait for that specific time to eat. Similarly, God will not provide the answer to our prayer request(s) unless He knows that it is the proper time. Providing the answer before or after the required time might not be spiritually healthy for us. There are times that He does not answer us at all. Reason being is because that request is simply not healthy or good for our lives. For example, if we had a child with severe allergy to peanuts, and for some reason, our child wants peanut butter because he sees everyone one else eating it; or because he likes the smell of it; we would not give it to him, no matter how much he asked; because it could harm him. Answer! No Answer! Whatever your situation may be, in the end, we have to trust in the Lord Jesus. He has a plan, and He is in control.