Have you ever prayed and asked God for something and He didn’t give it to you? For example, have you ever prayed for a sick loved one to get better but they died? Have you ever prayed for God’s hand of protection but there was an accident? Have you ever prayed for a lost loved one who is still lost?
Why doesn’t God answer our prayers? Well, that’s a tricky question. Because God does answer our prayers. All of them. You know this one right? You’ve heard it a million times. Sometimes God says yes. Sometimes God says no. Sometimes God says slow (not yet). Not exactly the answer you were looking for? Me either. Possibly because we’re not asking our real question.
The question we’re really asking is “Why didn’t God do what I told Him to?” Ouch! Believe me, I stepped on my own toes with that one!
But, the truth is God is not a genie in a bottle. He’s not hanging around waiting to grant our wishes. He’s the all-knowing, all- powerful, creator of the universe. And therefore, He couldn’t possibly answer all of our prayers.
Here are just a few reasons why:
- – We would never learn anything. It’s the same with our children. What if we did everything for our children and gave them everything they wanted? Even things we knew weren’t good for them. They would never grow up or mature. It would actually hurt them more than help them. God is our heavenly Father. He knows what is best for us.
- – Our prayers contradict each other. Remember in high school when you were praying for that guy or that girl to notice you? But, what if that guy or that girl was praying for someone else to notice them? And what if God answered everyone’s prayers? What a mess!
- – We don’t know the whole picture. God does. God knows what will happen if you get that promotion. God knows what will happen if you move to that state. God knows what will happen if you (fill in the blank). You don’t. Trust that He knows best.
- – God looks at things differently than we do. Death for example- God sees the death of His saints as a reward. “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8) We all know that we’re not going to live on this earth forever. The death rate here is 100%. We all have to go some time. We can’t all live happy, active lives and die in our sleep on our 100th birthday after an exciting day of horseback riding on the beach with our spouse of 80 years. Sound silly? Of course it does. We all know life doesn’t work that way. It wasn’t designed to. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” Ecclesiastes 3:2
Knowing these things, if we’re honest, the question becomes, “If God isn’t going to give me what I ask for then what’s the point in praying at all?” And the answer is simple. Prayer connects your heart to God’s. It connects your will to God’s will. It gives Him the opportunity to speak to your heart and mold you and shape you. Commit to prayer and you will find that He starts answering a whole lot more of your prayers. Not because you’ve “earned” His favor. But because your requests have begun to align with His will.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”
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