Thank God for Unanswered Prayers!
Do you ever struggle with your prayers? Wondering if they are being heard, being answered? Sometimes it feels like I pray and nothing happens. Is God saying no, or not yet? Has God even heard me? Yet God is there with me. He hears me. He cries with me. He loves me. He longs to comfort and provide.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11
I don’t know why all prayers are not answered. Sometimes what I ask is granted and I rejoice! Sometimes prayers are resolved in ways I didn’t conceive of and the results are better than I dreamed! Sometimes my prayers aren’t answered in the timing I think they should be, but eventually they are. Sometimes my prayers are not answered. Was I wrong to ask? Did God not want to answer? I don’t know. But I still have faith. And I still trust. And I will continue to pray and wait.
There is a country song which states “thank God for unanswered prayers”. The singer is remembering times past when prayers for a relationship failed yet he eventually met and married the ‘perfect’ wife for him. He’s then thankful that God didn’t answer the prayers of his youth. There was a better plan and a better spouse waiting for him, he just hadn’t met her yet.
I’ve often prayed the same grateful prayer when thinking about my husband. Before I met him, I had prayed about certain men, asking God to bring about a relationship but those prayers went unanswered. Thank God! One or two I may have thought were ‘the one’ BUT God had a much better husband for me, I just hadn’t met him yet! And I am SO thankful for those unanswered prayers! God had a better plan but I couldn’t see the future.
But what if the unanswered prayer is for healing and someone isn’t healed? Where is God in that situation? I know that we struggled with unanswered prayers during the years of illness our son endured. Yet God did answer our prayers for healing at times. A surgery that went well. A diagnosis that was resolved. A treatment plan found. A crisis averted.
How do we, in our limited knowledge of the universe, define ‘healing’? Eventually, our son died and now he lives fully healed in heaven, with Jesus. THAT is the ultimate healing! His pain and suffering are over. He is healed. He is whole.
God longs to answer our prayers, but sometimes he has a better plan. As the bible verse above states, he is a loving father who wants to give his children good gifts. We need to trust he knows best. I need to trust that he knows best!
That surrender can be hard.
What are you praying for today? Are you trusting God to bring about the best outcome? Trust him today to know what is best for you, as a loving father should. Trust and release, breathe in a deep breath and give it to him to answer in his way and in his timing.
PS This photo is the BEST answered prayer! We have been married 34 years.