Do you ever feel ignored from God? A common question/complaint from people is God not answering prayers.
Why is it that we are inclined to think that the only answer God can give to our prayers is “yes” and that He must answer all prayers?
I had this mentality for a long time. Praying and praying with no result – at least that’s how I viewed it. But I’ve learned through scripture that God does not always give us what we want- but what we need. When God tells us “no”, this too is an answer of love on His part.
Pastor Nick gave a great example of this in last week’s service, noting that just as a loving parent knows what’s best for his/her child, God knows what’s best for us. Just because God does not answer every request in the way we desire, does not mean He is ignoring us. God is all loving and all knowing. He desires the best for all of us.
I often reflect back about the things I thought I wanted and prayed for. I can recall getting frustrated and doubting Him because my desires were not being met. I thank Him now for loving me and protecting me. God makes no mistakes. His timing is perfect. If you feel you aren’t being heard, ask yourself if you’re walking uprightly. If what you are asking for comes from a place of honesty and goodness, scripture tells us that God is not withholding.
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”- Psalm 84:11
The motive behind any prayer request must be pure as evidenced in James 4:3: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”
Again, we see the importance of familiarizing yourself with scripture, which is a central theme of this blog as the regular readers know. Without scriptural knowledge, it’s easy to second guess God and feel silent in prayer requests. But with this knowledge, you can have peace knowing He is good and knows what’s eternally best for us. He does not want us to settle. Trust His “no.”
“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” -Ephesians 3:20
Another important question to ask yourself is are you praying in faith? Faith matters when you pray. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20-21, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
For a long time, I was a Christian who didn’t actually believe God could heal me through prayer, particularly through my struggles with fear. I was praying in desperation and it was evident. My friend, who is an atheist, called me out, essentially calling me a hypocrite – and he was right. I was trying to convince him of God’s existence, yet didn’t fully believe He could heal me. How you pray is just as important as what you pray for.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:6