Discussion Topic

Dealing with Unanswered Prayer

Posted on 02/03/13, 05:39 pm
I am rejoicing at the recent reconciliations that have been shared here lately but I am also concerned about those who may be feeling a little down and neglected by their unanswered prayers. I have to admit that I was just a bit down myself about His silence until the service today because it was....just what I needed to hear. (hmm, was that sermon my "answered prayer?"? Maybe.)

Below is an article that might answer the question of unanswered prayer better than I about how to deal with the silence of unanswered prayer.

You’ve prayed repeatedly for God to intervene in a situation close to your heart – but all your requests have been met with silence. You’ve prayed with great passion and faith – yet still, God doesn’t answer. Do unanswered prayers mean that God doesn’t care, or worse, that He’s not even there? When you’re heartbroken over His silence, it can seem that way.

But God has a message to send you through the silence. Here’s how you can hear Him, even when He doesn’t answer your prayers:

* Be honest. Admit your disappointment, frustration, confusion, doubt, sorrow, anger, and any other feelings you have about the fact that you haven’t yet received answers to your prayers. Don’t be afraid to express yourself completely to God, without shame or pretense. Pray about every concern you have. Ask God hard questions.

* Trust in God’s love. Know that nothing – not bankruptcy, divorce, illness, death, or anything else – can ever separate you from God’s love. Regularly remind yourself of specific ways God has already shown you that He loves you, such as through answered prayer in the past and His promises in Scripture. Recognize the blessings you currently have that you haven’t noticed before, and thank God for them. Remember that God often expresses His love through the kindness of faithful people. Choose to take God at His word and believe that He cares about you, no matter what.

* Seek God Himself instead of just His miracles. Understand that, although God sometimes does choose to perform miracles for certain purposes, He often decides not to do so. Believe in the truth that a miracle is always possible, but remember that miracles are rare by definition. Check your motives to make sure you’re not just vying for a miracle, but instead are seeking to grow closer to God. Don’t expect God to be like a divine vending machine who dispenses miracles on demand. Love God Himself more than what He can give you.

'UNANSWERED PRAYER' - lyrics by Garth Brooks

Just the other night at a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn't help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I'd wanted for all times
And each night I'd spend prayin' that God would make her mine
And if he'd only grant me this wish I wished back then
I'd never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn't quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn't much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he's doin' after all

And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

Some of God's greatest gifts are all too often unanswered...
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers


Showing 1 - 10 of 15 Replies
  • Reply #1 02/03/13  8:28pm
    Just what I needed. Hope is very slim in my case. I am not hanging on to it as that is crushing for me. "make sure you’re not just vying for a miracle, but instead are seeking to grow closer to God" this is where my hope lies. I long above all else to grow closer to God. Thanks for the words of comfort. While I rejoice with those that rejoice, I mourn with those who mourn, myself included.
  • Reply #2 02/03/13  8:34pm
    Thank you for addressing this issue. I too felt sadness that the estrangement with my son continues. I am confident,though that God hears and is answering my prayers, and I am confident that he is hearing and answering all of those in this group who are praying in the name of Jesus for their children. I know this because God's word in the book of James promises that he hears the prayers of a righteous person, those who have been made right with God by the shed blood of his son Jesus. Jesus, God incarnate, also promises to hear and answer the prayers of those who pray in his name. The Apostle Paul said that if we pray in Gods will, God hears and answers those prayers. If God said it, it is true! God also makes it clear that it is his will that all men be saved, that none would be lost, that we all would be in right relationships with God and with one another. He makes it clear that it is his will that parents love their children and that children love and honor their parents. He wants us and tells us in his word to pray for these things. I have no doubt that God is intervening in my son's life, calling him to turn to return to faith and to family, to open his eyes. But, and this is the BIG BUT, God will not force our estranged children to turn to him, follow him, obey him, just like he will not force you and I. If we have not yet seen results, it is because our children are resisting and fighting against Gods work in their lives, it is NOT because God is not doing anything . I have really been thinking about this with my younger son who is not estranged from us, but is having medical problems-- a broken bone that will not heal. This son, very athletically talented, in his high school years began making sports his idol. DH and I didn't realize this was happening, but it soon became evident that he had no time for God in his life because of sports. We tried to warn him, but he has ignored those warnings. And now I believe God is trying to bring him to his knees. I would never tell my son this, as I believe that to do so would be interfering with Gods timing and work, but every time I have prayed for him, something has happened (the broken arm is not the first medical issue). He has called dh and to love him through this, to let him know that followers of Jesus all over are lovingly lifting him up in prayer. It is The Holy Spirit's job to open His eyes to what God is teaching him. It is our job to keep loving our children and to never give up praying for them, for this is spiritual warfare. Don't be deceived into thinking that God does not hear your prayers for healing. He hears and he is intervening. God is patient, and will not stop intervening, unless God's all knowing power sees a heart that is completely hardened against him. yes there are those who reject His work in their hearts, but you and I can never see into someone's heart to know if they have and are hopeless,so never give up . As long as you are alive and here on this earth keep praying and know the truth. God hears and He is working.
  • Reply #3 02/04/13  8:26am
    I can remember once a long time ago where I prayed to God that my first love and I would get married. But, it was a rebound love. He had broken up with his previous fiance because she had cheated on him and had gotten pregnant when he was away and in the service - but deep down inside I knew he never stopped loving her. He got out of the service and went home to resolve this issue. He never came back. I was devastated and deeply depressed for a year. A few years later, I met my husband and we got married. Later on, I was grateful that God did not answer that prayer because I never would have felt confidence that he had truly gotten over her. In retrospect that some prayers prove better off unanswered.

    My unanswered prayer is also reflected in the lyrics to Garth Brooks' song above. He recalls pleading with God for his high school sweetheart. Looking back years later, it became apparent to him that she would have been a terrible choice for him, and he realizes that “some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”

    If we will simply give it some time, we will often see in retrospect that some of God’s biggest blessings to us have been those prayers that He chose not to answer in the way we were praying.

    When we experience those permanent losses at the time, just like the loss of our children due to estrangement, they are certainly painful also but we have to accept the will of God and believe that only He can know what the future might have brought to our lives had our prayers been answered in the manner in which we thought was best for us at that moment in time.

    As others said above, thanks for this.
  • Reply #4 02/04/13  11:37am
    Thank CarolinaMoon for the article. I especially could relate to being honest with God and letting Him know how I feel about His letting this estrangement go on and on. I always feel guilty and ask for forgiveness after I "let it all out." I know in the long run He will resolve this one way or another. And one thing I know I do on a regular basis is to thank the Lord for the every day blessings He brings to my life and for the honor and privilege of being able to call him my Lord. I am especially thankful for the cross, for my salvation and that he wrent the veil so that I may speak to Him as Abba, Father.
  • Reply #5 02/04/13  2:09pm
    CaolinaMoon Such truth in your post. It reminds me of the song, "Blessings". Sometimes the blessings truly do come through raindrops. God sees the whole picture. Our Pastor says that God gives "Blessings and Blessings in disguise" to His people.

    As we continue to pray for reconciliation, God's way, may we praise Him even in the midst of this storm. May we move forward by His grace (I was paralyzed by this much of last year and still fall). May God allow us to bless Him and others who are going through great trials, also. He is worthy!
  • Reply #6 02/05/13  11:01am
    I too have experienced unanswered prayers. My son that I just reconciled with was born with Cystic Fibrosis. I have been praying for a miracle of healing, a miracle that God will take away the Cystic Fibrosis for 28 years. He was not diagnosed until he was 3 years old.
    It used to make me so angry when I would watch on television a miracle testimony of a little boy that was completely healed from Cystic Fibrosis. I remember the anger so well. I cried out to God, "Why not my little boy?" It did not fill me with joy to hear and witness this testimony. It only made me more upset at God at why not for me too?
    Here I am with a 31 year old son that I just reconciled with but he still suffers horribly from this disease.
    I was reluctant to share my joy about the reconciliation because I was afraid it would cause more pain than joy for others. I took a chance in the hopes it would give hope instead. That is still my wish for all here.
    I won't walk away and go oh I got what I needed and forget about how much you are still hurting and bleeding here. I will ask God in Jesus name to please answer your prayers for reconciliation as well and visit you with His Holy Spirit to Comfort you in your grief.
    I can tell all of you this. I once boasted on here about how I would absolutely NOT pursue my son. Well guess what? I did......................I changed. The day I started wearing the locket with his picture I sent e-mails to my son telling him how much I loved him, his father loved him and we WANTED him to be a part of this family. I pursued him with love. Then I started leaving messages on his cell phone saying, I love you MOM. I sent him another e-mail again telling him how much he is loved and wanted in this family. I felt a peace from God every time I touched the locket and prayed for God to give me back my son. I pursued with love even if it meant my getting hurt.
  • Reply #7 02/05/13  7:40pm
    I am not yet reconciled with my son, and I am so glad that you shared your story of reconciliation. It gives me hope to here your story. I text my son every week, or two weeks. Sometimes I just says "I love you" or "I miss you." Sometimes I share a devotion or scripture that I have read. sometimes I poor my heart out and tell him how much I miss him, and how much I miss my grandchildren. I have no idea if he even reads the tex messages. Sometimes I wonder if he even reads texts from me, or does he delete them? Your story encourages me to keep on trying, to not give up, thank you for sharing. Thank you for Irving hope.
  • Reply #8 02/08/13  1:35am
    I have been dealing with that very same issue lately. It seems that the Lord is "not answering" because He is waiting for me to empty myself of me, so that He can fill me up with Him. Once when a friend was praying for my daughter to come home, (it's been 4 years), God clearly told me, "I'm not finished with her yet, I have set out a block of time and I'm not finished teaching her what I want to teach her." I then said,
    'Well, then by golly, Lord, don't bring her home until she is ready and until You have established all that You want her to learn, and let YOUR will be done as I know it is always the best." That was 6 months ago and I thought for sure that this Christmas she was coming home. I had plenty of those "moments" when "satan" answered my prayers with a lie. Many times I was convinced, "this was the day." Many times I was deceived. It is difficult, especially at birthdays, my 50th a week ago and her 25th two days ago, however, there is ONE thing I KNOW about my God and that is that, when it does happen, I will say, "Oh, I see, God, why you had to do it this way," and I will fall on my knees in joyful praise for the dark time and the years spent away because we will both be empty of ourselves and filled with His Holy Spirit. God Bless
  • Reply #9 02/08/13  6:14am
    When we are in the midst of the storm and do not see the shelter or feel His umbrella shielding us from the rain, look up. He is there, He is always there and He never leaves us.
    I have learned to pray that my will be His will and for Him to give me strength to hold on until our will come in alignment.
    All things happen for a reason, even losing our children. As sad and as hard as it may seem right now, your faith will take you to a better place. I pray for each and everyone of us here today.
  • Reply #10 02/08/13  12:41pm
    I thank God for meeting you here. It was a shattered and broken heart that sent me here. I am blessed just knowing ALL of you on this support group!!
    What a beautiful group of people here!
    Yet, a crushed, bruised and broken spirit is what got me here? Who can fathom our God and His ways?
    I do know the Bible states that Gods ways are not our ways, his thought are higher than our thoughts?

    See this link: http://bible.cc/isaiah/55-8.htm


Join This Group

Estrangement makes it difficult to talk about with family, friends, neighbors and church members. Christians are NOT immune to broken families. Talk about your experiences with those who know how you feel and get positive support through your Christian faith...."In these last days difficult times will come, for men will be lovers of self...disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving...." (2 Tim 3:2) "O God and Heavenly Father, Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept