I know it can be frustrating to pray for something and not receive an answer. Especially when Scripture tells us:
Ask and it WILL be given to you; seek and you WILL find; knock and it WILL be opened to you. – Matt. 7:7 [Emphasis mine]
So what do we do when prayers seem to return unanswered?
Please remember: God does answers prayer. However, the answer may not be the one we think we want, it may not be answered the way we think it should be, and we may never know why this side of eternity.
That’s where faith comes in.
Not always, but lots of the time God answers prayer with Yes, No, or Not Now.
I love my girls but that doesn’t mean I just give them everything they ask me for. That wouldn’t make me a very good father, would it?
If Charlotte asks me to go to the park. My answer is yes. I do some quick assessments that she is totally unaware of & quite frankly doesn’t understand: is it raining? is it too late? does she have shoes on?! (Those are all for HER safety mind you.) Then off to the park we go.
If Charlotte asks me for another ice cream cone. My answer is no. She has no concept of cavities, but I do. It is because I love her & I know that another ice cream cone will most likely upset her stomach. More ice cream will make her more un-happy rather than more happy. Even though she may scream, cry, & think I do not love her – the answer is no.
If Charlotte asks me for a car. (A real one, not a toy one like the pic) My answer is not now. Handing the keys of a car to a 4 year old would make me irresponsible, not loving. She’ll get one when she is mature enough. Also, now that I know what she wants I will start saving & researching. I put actions into motion behind the scenes. It may make her angry today, but the answer is not now.
If Charlotte asks me to go out on a date. My answer is never. That is not a God metaphor, that is just me. (Book, chapter, & verse can be found in Patrick 1:1.)
The Bible overflows with examples of God answering prayer. I’m not going to list them here, but please know this: God is in control of all the factors involved, & He has your safety at heart in every decision He makes.
So even if we pray and it doesn’t seem to work out, that doesn’t mean we stop talking to God (which is really what prayer is).
If my girls only talked to me when they wanted something, that would hurt me. I want them to talk to me all day everyday about everything.
God’s no different.