Unanswered prayer By: Margaret R. Wilder

There is a famous quote by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 - 1892) which states,

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'.

In some cases that statement applies; however, when it comes to unanswered prayer in regard to failed relationships or when life's path takes an unexpected turn you don't particularly like or understand (like losing a job)---something significant and far-reaching might actually be happening.

Unanswered prayer can be confusing and difficult when we pray diligently, but without the desired outcome. It causes a variety of emotions. I have heard people express that they are disappointed, frustrated, or angry. Some even question the existence of God.

You may say, "I prayed for an answer and I honestly believed that I would receive what I prayed for!"

Sometimes what we consider "unanswered prayer" might be God's way of trying to tell us, "No.", "Not right now." or "That's not going to be good for you."

Most of us who have heard Garth Brooks country song, "Thank God for Unanswered Prayer" have chuckled because we have had one of those moments ourselves where days, months, or years after an "unanswered prayer" we actually thanked God for that outcome! Like, "Whew! Thank God that didn't happen!"

Sometimes God in His mercy does not give us the desires of our heart when those desires do not line up with the plan he has for our lives.

James 5:16 ..(AMP)...The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer)can accomplish much...

You mean there is actually a "plan"?

Just as God told the prophet Jeremiah that the "plan" was created before his birth, there's a plan for our lives as well!

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Whether you realize it or not, the master Creator of the universe not only knows your name and where you live, HE, the Lord God of heaven and earth even knows the number of hairs on your head!!! Jesus said,

"But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7 (KJV)

While in your mother's womb, whether your mother planned her pregnancy or not (or even wanted your birth) GOD had a plan for your life! HE desired that you would come to "know" him and enjoy an abundant, joyful life.

You might be thinking, 'are you kidding me---my life is like hell on earth'

As a youngster, you may have lacked encouragement or the guidance you feel was necessary to grow up to achieve anything substantial. Or you might have been hard-headed carving out a difficult path in life. So you might catch yourself saying,

"If only I hadn't made those choices! My life might have turned out differently! I might have been able to make a difference in this world. ----It might have been!!!"

Perhaps there were times you didn't ask for God's direction or knew his answer was, "No!" and decided to do what you desired. Of course, God certainly cannot be responsible for the outcome if you or I don't ask for guidance and then wait for his answer.

However, sometimes God in his mercy sends people and circumstances into our lives to make us think...to help turn us around...to help us get on the right path---His ordained path for our lives.

Sometimes He gives us exactly what we pray for.

Sometimes he doesn't.

God designed and endowed you with specific gifts and talents. However, it is up to you to discover the gifts that are within your mind and heart. This takes faith. It also takes faith to pray for a complicated answer. But sometimes we need more ingredients than just faith alone. For example, if your desired outcome is to bake a Red Velvet Cake, you will need multiple ingredients besides flour. You can throw the two correct measurements of flour and red food coloring into a bowl, stir and then bake at any temperature---but a delicious Red Velvet Cake will not be the outcome. Likewise, once Jesus' disciples prayed for a boy to be delivered from a demon; however, their prayers were UNANSWERED. They asked Jesus why He could command the devil to leave, but they could not. They wanted to know what secret ingredient was missing from their prayers. Why were their prayers powerless to help the boy?

And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. Matthew 17:20

So Faith + Prayer + Fasting was needed for this type of answered prayer.

How do I get there from here?

Are you willing to be a follower of Jesus---to follow him, to wait for HIS answer? Are you willing to follow him no matter where HIS path leads?

If your answer is "Yes," it is good to know others have found it wise to WAIT for the answer. Wait until you feel an inner peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 states, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Pray until you are filled with an inexplicable peaceful feeling that you know God has heard your prayer. If you feel a true breakthrough has NOT been accomplished, add fasting to your prayer life.

Please listen to the short video below and let God stir your heart for him. If not for his grace, there would be no answer. However, God DOES answer prayer!  He is faithful to lead, guide, and direct us when we have a willing heart to follow him. (After viewing the video, click the back button to come back to this page...)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Psalm 91:1-2 (KJV)
"“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9 (NIV)

Copyright: Unanswered Prayer, Margaret R. Wilder, 12.20.16

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Created By
Margaret Wilder


Created with images by Joris_Louwes - "Why not" • Han S. Kim - "Because Why Not?" • Editor B - "Why?" • soozed - "Bad Idea" • skeeze - "ship aground wreck vessel" • josephleenovak - "The Healing Hands" • Dreaming in the deep south - "pathway" • kelseyannvere - "woman thinking thought-provoking" • Hamed Saber - "Happy Ramadhan, Eid Mubarak - عيد فطر مبارك" • elljay - "private property posted no hunting"

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