I had an interesting dialog on Facebook over the weekend about my post titled When Prayers Are Not Answered. I asked for thoughts on unanswered prayers.. here are a few of the responses:
- I don't believe prayer is ever "unanswered." Maybe it's just a matter of semantics, but God ALWAYS listens and answers - He just doesn't always give us the answer we want. If we don't get what we want, then we must trust that what He DOES give us will be used to for His glory and our good. Not easy to do, but it's what we are called to.
- Here are my thought on that Bob, I went through a very difficult time not so long ago...I wanted it over with in a flash and I got down on my knees and begged. I had heard in sermons that there were people that had their prayers answered in a moment...and I asked why...am I not as loved as they are? And after I fought my way through with Him by my side I found out that it was because I wouldn't have learned the lesson that I was supposed to learn. Many I have learned in the past four years. Thank you Lord for teaching me.
- Absolutely agree with all of the above! I guess it's purely the word "unanswered" that I struggle with. I know that it's just a word, but I hate to leave that impression of God out there at all. That's all I'm saying. :-)
- As always, I love your writing. I think for me, I've always looked at "unanswered prayer" as the answer. I don't know...I'm not sure think of it so much as an unanswered prayer. I think sometimes no answer is the answer. Maybe it's our own lack of not being able to see it as an answer. And sometimes it's a matter of timing. The answer comes not when we want it, but maybe when we need will need it the most. After all, He sees what's ahead.
- Timing is what it is all about.... When the student is ready...the teacher will appear!!!
Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. -Matthew 7:7 (AMP)This passage speaks to me of the persistence that we so need when we pray.. often we see this persistence on display in the scriptures.. certainly the seeking and knocking prayers are not just a one time events.
I do think that the Holy Spirit can speak to us and tell us "no" as He did with Paul.. but until He does isn't it a good idea to keep praying and understanding that the answer may be "wait"? And really.. isn't a "wait" answer just another way to describe an unanswered prayer? I would love to hear what you think.