When Prayers Are Not Answered

A few years ago I gave a Sunday morning talk at church titled Broken Hearts, Unanswered Prayers.. you can download and listen to it here. Following is a verse from the twelfth chapter of second Corinthians that I used in back then:
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
When I think about unanswered prayers I sometimes ask myself this question:
Can I be content with life if God does not answer my prayers?
It is a hard question but one that helps bring focus to my life. Indeed Paul tells us that he is content with the things that speak loudly to unanswered prayers. Who has not asked God to deliver them out of the hardship of weakness and difficulty? In this verse he says that he is content with these thorns in his flesh.

In the fourth chapter of his letter to the Philippians Paul gives us a peek into his heart when he says "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." Contentment is something that must be learned.. and unanswered prayers often provide an atmosphere where contentment can be cultivated.. it can almost be said that one can only embrace contentment when life is hard and prayer is unanswered.

So if you find yourself in a difficult season and a time of unanswered prayer I suggest that you embrace the idea of learning to be content.. it will help you (and me) to live a life that pleases our Father and brings joy to our lives.


  1. Contentment and the peace of God that passeth all understanding. Two gifts of God that He, and He alone, can give us.

  2. I might see a slight difference between the two Susan. I think that peace is something the Holy Spirit gives us and contentment is something that the Holy Spirit teaches us.

  3. Thanks. It's nice to hear your voice...will listen later :)

  4. Thanks Mike! That message as well as a few others are listed on my sidebar.


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