When God doesn’t answer your heartfelt prayers

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:6

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

Once again I despaired after a medical mishap left me in chronic pain.  I also watched as family members struggled, and as legislators continued to make harmful decisions and I wondered why God didn’t answer.  My prayers were all for legitimate needs, but still no answers seemed to come.

The dilemma is a hard one, and faced by all believers sooner or later:  We cannot go back to not believing in God.  We have to somehow come to terms  with a loving God not answering heartfelt requests.  We know He’s there and we know He hears us.

What should we do when God seems not to answer legitimate prayers?  These are some things I have done in my quest to get right with God to see His answers:

  1. Search my heart for any sin.  Every Christian knows that God (usually) won’t answer prayer unless we’re right with Him.
  2. Fast.  I’ve fasted a number of times throughout my life and twice I can claim that I believe God actually may have had a hand in helping me.
  3. Pinpoint changes within that I felt that God wanted.

I’ve done all these things and still I received no answer to many of my heartfelt prayers. So where does a believer go from this point?  What should we do as a Christian who has tried to do whatever we felt that God wanted, yet still don’t see His answers?

I asked my husband this after feeling that God had let me down.  His answer was simplistic but one that I believe has merit:

Work on becoming the person that God wants you to be.

If you sit down and think it through, I’m sure that you can come up with changes within yourself that you sense in your spirit that you need to make. Maybe there is something that you’ve always known that you should do:  some ministry that you should begin, a class that you should take, inner change that you’ve known that you need to correct.  I’m sure that something will come to mind as you pray and ask God to show you.

Whatever your need is, I urge you to still pray to God as we’re told in Scripture to do.  But as you pray, do all that you can about the matter that you’re praying about, and then get busy doing the things you’ve known that you should do to become the person that God wants you to be.

I think the above will put us in the best place to receive whatever God chooses to do to help us.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. A slightly different perspective, while not disagreeing with your message.

    Life is temporary, Eternity is forever. Non-believers and far too many Christians have this thought. All the pains and disabilities of any kind are intended to make us more competent to live in Eternity. As believers in God through Jesus, God loves us without reserve. Which should not be mistaken for God ignoring our trespasses and sins.

    This life is preparing us for Eternity. We should study hard.

    1. I agree that the things which happen to us on earth are supposed to help to conform us into the image of Christ. Yet even with knowing that it’s a tall order to live in pain or heartache every day. Due to another’s sin I now live in pain 24/7 and it gets old. I just have not found the magic formula yet that has me feeling satisfied with my lot, and those who say they do, I think are lying to either you or themselves. If you find the way, please by all means share it.

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