Unanswered Prayer

Tim Jackson —  May 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to communicate with someone and they don’t even bother to answer you? Even if it’s a text, an email, or a Facebook post, some response is better than flat-out silence. But it’s especially annoying when you know they heard you but are refusing to answer you. Now that’s downright disrespectful, even infuriating.

So, how do you respond when God doesn’t answer your prayers? After all, He’s omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent—nothing ever escapes His purview. He knows all, sees all, and hears all. If this is true, and we believe it is, then why do some of our prayers seem to fall on deaf ears? If it’s not that God can’t, didn’t, or somehow failed to hear our prayers, then we are left with a devastating but logical conclusion:  We are intentionally being ignored. And if that’s true, then God really doesn’t care about us or our concerns.

When prayers go unanswered, our feelings of being abandoned, discarded, ignored, and insignificant are inflamed. And that’s when we are prone to simply give up. To quit praying because no matter how often or how long or how passionately we pray, it doesn’t seem to make much difference at all.

Philip Yancey offers four reasons for unanswered prayers in his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?

photo(5)Some, but not all, unanswered prayers trace back to a fault in the one who prays. Some, but not all, trace back to Gods mystifying respect for human freedom and refusal to coerce. Some, but not all, trace back to dark powers contending against God’s rule. Some, but not all, trace back to a planet marred with disease, violence, and the potential for tragic accident. How, then, can we make sense of any single experience of unanswered prayer? (p. 232)

So what’s your take on unanswered prayer? How do you respond when you’ve prayed your heart out for something or someone who deeply matters to you and there’s no response from heaven?

We’d love to hear from you. Join in the discussion here as we grapple with unanswered prayer.

We’d like to invite you to continue the discussion and join us for our free webinar on prayer on May 23, at 12 pm EDT. I’ll be joined by fellow blogger and RBC Ministries Bible teacher Dennis Moles and pastor and DHP author Dr. James Banks for Prayer: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why It Matters. The hashtag for the webinar is #whyprayermatters.

Space it limited, so sign up soon at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6822142345903290368

Tim Jackson

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Tim Jackson is married to his college sweetheart, Cole. They have 3 adult children. Tim is the producer for the HelpForMyLife.org website, writes Discover Series booklets on a variety of counseling issues and hosts webinars for RBC Ministries. He's also the founder and president of Still Waters Counseling & Equipping Ministries, PC, a local counseling practice serving individuals, couples and families. When not in the office, you will probably find him up a tree with a bow, in a duck blind or fly fishing on one of Michigan's many rivers.

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