Unanswered Prayers

Some long-ago prayers remain unanswered. I asked of the Lord in faith (I think), with right  motives (as far as I know), and sincerely. Still, no concrete answers, nothing I can point to and say, “God has heard my petition and here is proof.”

Am I alone with my little basket of non-answers? Far from it. Every pray-er has a collection of earnest pleas that seemingly haven’t taken off for heaven. They remain stubbornly glued to earth. A shelf of journals stand spiral to spiral in my bookcase. Each one is full of thoughts, ideas and, here and there, a page of prayers. Dates from years past peek through coffee stains. The best before date has passed for some of those prayers – they cannot be answered now.

I don’t want to give the impression that none of my prayers have soared high. Miracles of salvation, healing, financial need, employment and numerous other requests have check marks beside them. Some are personal prayers. Many are requests from friends and people in our bible study.

Today I’m focused on unanswered prayers. Perhaps it’s that melancholy streak in my personality. Like Jacob who wrestled with the Angel of the Lord and refused to loosen his grip until the angel blessed him, I can’t let go. I can’t accept “no” as an answer.

Like Daniel, who prayed with intensity for 21 days, I must persevere in prayer until He comes and blesses me with answers. Perseverance is the key that unlocks the door to prayer. Perseverance grips the God of the Blessing and hangs on until faith and hope become touchable.

And behold, a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment; For she kept saying to herself, If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health. Jesus turned around and, seeing her, He said, Take courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well. And at once the woman was restored to health. (Matthew 9:20-22)

Lord, I let my faith in You fly above the clouds of unanswered prayer. For better, for worse, always, forever, my fingers seize your garment and hold on.

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About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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3 Responses to Unanswered Prayers

  1. Jim says:

    In Mark 11:24, Jesus said to believe you received the answer when you prayed, not when you “see or feel” the answer. I’ve been practicing this verse for 30 years. During that time, I’ve found it difficult to maintain that exact type of belief after 3-4 months have elapsed. Once, I had warts disappear overnight after standing on this scripture several times a day for approximately 90-days. I’ve also read testimonies of people doing this for several years – actively speaking God’s Word over a situation or condition for 30+ minutes a day.

    That’s another area I’ve fallen far short in. Of course, I’ve also experienced instant answers and even saw a pet heal miraculously after having died of a disease.

    With other issues, however, I haven’t experienced anything. This leads me to believe that each of us has key issues or tests to face in certain areas (for whatever reason) and need to continue to believe we have our answers – even though much time has passed and we do not see the answers.

    If we renew our resolve to enter into the rest of faith that comes with having believed (in each of our “trouble areas), I think each of us will ultimately enjoy the outward experience that mirrors our inward faith and belief.

    Even Jesus’ disciples experienced failure when the couldn’t cast the demon out of the man’s son in Matthew 17:19. They had unbelief to deal with, too.

    I believe we deal with the same things on different issues. On the plus side, experiencing an outward answer to something you went through the fire for – for years… that kind of experience will make the love of God jump off the pages of the Bible and become a living reality and experience in our day-to-day lives that no one will ever be able to take from us.

    Summing it up, I’d say what we all need to keep on keeping on… and look to Jesus to complete our “gaps” in faith, no matter how long it takes.

  2. Diana says:

    Rose, I really relate to this. I too have unanswered prayers, including healing from Fibromyalgia. Yet, God healed my sciatica. (It was a few days before I even realized I had been miraculously healed. I had forgotten I had had hands laid on me for healing, and I was asking in my mind, “Why is my sciatica better? What did I do differently?” Then God reminded me. I could sense his amusement. I had had sciatica for years. It’s still gone, two or so years later. Yet I have had many, many prayers to be healed from FM. Hasn’t happened… yet. Like you, I won’t give up, but I leave it in God’s hands mostly now. Other unanswered prayers remain as well.
    I have to smile at your spiral bound notebooks. I have a lot of those too… journaling and written prayers.

    • I’m thrilled to hear about your healing from sciatica. We’ll never understand why some prayers are answered and others not. A thought that excites me is that our prayers don’t die with us. Some hard-won answers will come after we’ve entered heaven.

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