Many years ago, my husband and I attended a high school baseball game, in which our friend’s son was one of the athletes. I don’t remember a whole lot about this particular game and I can’t tell you who won. But I do remember one incident that dealt with one of the parents. There was a mom who wanted her son to do well. When he came up to bat, she got up from her seat, stood behind the bleachers, and appeared to be praying. When her boy struck out, she let out a frustrated cry and stomped her foot. To this day, I cringe over the lady’s actions. Mainly because of the way she acted when she didn’t get what she wanted. Especially in public and over something that perhaps wasn’t a big deal, in the grand scheme of things.
I am not claiming to be a saint in this area. I am sure I also had times when I was frustrated or sad or disappointed because my prayers weren’t answered.
And the truth is that not all of our prayers will be answered the way that we want. This can be difficult to deal with. Especially when it is something big or meaningful that we would like to see happen in our lives.
But one thing I am learning is that God is a trustworthy God. If He doesn’t answer prayers or if He answers them differently than we wanted – He has a good reason.
Below are just a few reasons why our prayers might not be answered in the way that we had hoped:
- Sometimes what we we want is not what we need.
- Sometimes we might ask for something with the wrong motives.
- Sometimes what we think is right, God can see is wrong. He sees the big picture. The beginning and the end.
- Sometimes we have to walk through a difficulty in order to grow. Therefore, God might not answer our prayers to remove a particular difficulty right away.
- Sometimes if we have sin in our hearts, God will not hear us.
- Sometimes what we want is not God’s will.
Here are some Bible verses to ponder:
- “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” – 1 John 5:14
- “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:3
- “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” – Psalm 66:18
- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28
- “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4
Of course there are countless times when God does answer our prayers. So please don’t let this post discourage you from praying. We have a priceless gift in prayer. We are able to speak to the Most High God, anytime and anywhere. And He loves to hear from us. That thought alone brings me joy. And it hope it brings you joy too – to know that the Lord of the universe wants to talk with you.
When we have a solid relationship with God, one in which we spend time with daily, getting to know Him and His love – this helps us to rest in the comfort of knowing that He always has our best interest in mind. Then when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, we still have peace and contentment knowing that the King of kings is on our side.
© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas