Handling unanswered prayer

I was recently asked how we should handle unanswered prayer.

What a great question. 

Let’s be honest, not every prayer we pray is answered, at least not in the way and or time we hoped it would be. 

When my prayers are not answered I pull back and go wide. 

By this I mean I draw my focus away from what I’m praying for and put it on God, alone. 

I turn my thoughts toward his word. 

I read about his character traits and immerse myself with his biblical promises. 

Basically, I remind myself to whom I’m lifting my prayers. 

I stake my claim in God. 

But when faced with unanswered prayer we often do the opposite. 

We dig our heals in deeper and pray with a vengeance. 

The problem with this is that we can become so fixated with what we’re praying for that we lose sight of who we’re praying to.

Think for a moment about Abraham. God promised him that he would be a father. And then there were 25 years of silence. Both Abraham and Sarah were way beyond childbearing age when God promised them a child and they certainly were when he gave them Isaac. 

What did Abraham do?  He continued to live out his life. And Romans 4:3 tells us “Abraham believed God.”

That was his course of action. And that was his victory.

When your prayers do not seem to be answered, keep your focus on God. Remember who he is and what he has done.

He’s faithful and he will always remain faithful. 

We are praying to the God of the universe with whom nothing is impossible.

He is never late.

His ways are high above ours. 

He knows everything and he will provide exactly what we need at the precise time we need it.

Answers to prayer are not about us or how we pray. They’re not about praying the right payers or saying the right words. 

They’re not even about the amount of times we pray. 

Answers to prayer are about whom it is we’re praying to.

Why is this important? It’s important because prayer must be based on faith; not faith in our prayers, but faith in God and God alone. 

We read about this in Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

We must be secure in knowing that if what is on our heart in prayer is God led, he will answer, in his time and in his way.

But if what we’re praying for is not in God’s will, he will answer our prayers as he sees best. 

And he will then redirect our burdens for prayer to what that is.

It’s all about God.

What are you facing today? 

Are you like Abraham? Are you in a time of silence from God?  

Are the prayers of your heart going unanswered? 

Don’t lose heart. 

God is still God. He is who his word says he is and he is true to every one of his promises.

Stake your claim in God. 

Put your trust in him today.

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