The plan wasn’t working out as we’d hoped. Our dreams came crashing down…again. I had a choice. I could wallow in the disappointment…or I could help my husband pick up the pieces and move on to Plan B (or plan W since there have probably been that many!). I was even more bothered by the other person who would be impacted by the business plans that fell through. She wasn’t handling the disappointment well at all and she was even becoming angry with me for not being as crushed as she was. She went as far as wondering if I hadn’t prayed hard enough for the plan to be fruitful. Really? Thankfully, I had a lot more wisdom at that point than she did. Have you ever wondered why God answers some prayers but not others? Maybe you are looking for some much-needed truth for When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers.
**Facebook LIVE video is at the end of this post! Don’t miss it!**
Have you been disappointed that God hasn’t answered prayers exactly how we pray them? Did you believe that it’s because your prayers weren’t good enough? Or that you used the ‘wrong’ words? Maybe you didn’t pray long enough? Or ask enough times? Or, **GASP**, you did not have enough faith?! Has anyone ever said those allegations to you when a prayer hasn’t been answered? You hope that none of them are true, but a part of you wonders if they are. Maybe if you had had just a pinch more faith, He would have answered. Maybe if you had prayed just 5 more minutes, he would have listened. Well, sweet sister, I have some truth for you today.
Those questions above give the assumption that you have the power to control what God does or doesn’t do. Sure, scripture says that our prayers can be hindered when we are carrying on with sin and when our hearts aren’t right with God. But, I believe a lot of the time, there is something else going on when we feel like our prayers are not being answered.
Let’s Go Back In Time
I don’t mean actual time travel, here. Did you think I was serious? I mean let’s take a look over the course of our lives and see God’s faithfulness.
I was looking through my old prayer records – records from when Marcus and I were first married. There were requests that have been answered since then…and many that were not answered the way I had hoped. As I studied the ‘unanswered’ prayers, I began to see why they weren’t answered precisely as I requested…and I was thankful that they weren’t. I was thankful God did not give me what I asked for – what I thought I wanted.
One request was for our home to sell so that we could move to a nearby city. The sale of our home did not happen right away. And we never did end up moving to that specific city that I wanted to move to. Actually, we moved first to another town so I could be closer to the university I was attending. Our little home still didn’t sell until a couple of years later. We tried to rent it out, but that did not work out too well.
IF we had moved to that city, I would not have been able to finish my teaching degree.
IF we had moved to that city, I would probably not have the career I have now.
IF we had moved to that city, our life would have been drastically different than it is now.
Maybe I wouldn’t have my beautiful children.
Maybe my marriage would not be as strong as it is now.
Maybe my kids would have to be in school instead of home with me. I am so blessed to be able to homeschool them.
Maybe I wouldn’t have a website to blog on.
Maybe I wouldn’t have a speaking ministry that brings hope and healing to broken women.
Maybe I would not have experienced the healing and wholeness that I have encountered.
Maybe these ‘unanswered’ prayers aren’t about us or our works.
Maybe these unanswered prayers actually are answered…according to God’s plan and not mine.
Simply The Best
Have you ever thought that unanswered prayers go unanswered (according to us) because He has something so much better for us? And what we think is best for ourselves really isn’t the BEST? I mean, our understanding of the things of God is awfully minuscule. We don’t see the whole picture.
Matthew 6:8 reassures us that God knows what we need before we even ask Him. Of course, He does! It is His plan after all! He is all-knowing and sovereign. He has this whole world under control, including each of our lives and futures.
I look back on the last 18 years of my marriage and I can see God’s hand throughout. Plans we had that didn’t pan out – and I thank God that they didn’t! We’d be in a heap of trouble right about now!
Business ventures that did not come to fruition like the one mentioned above. Oh boy, am I ever THANKFUL they didn’t!
You know, one might view these as failures…but not me. They are God’s providence.
I look at where we are at right now…and I see that this is even better than we could have ever imagined.
So much more joy.
So much more fruit.
So much more blessing.
Yes, the in between time was hard. Crazy hard. But, we now have His best. And we can rest in this.
I am so thankful that God is NOT a genie in a bottle who grants us every wish and whim we desire in the moment. What a relief that He does not answer prayers according to the number of times we’ve blown upon a dandelion that has gone to seed. Or the times we have wished upon a star.
I am so thankful that He has His plans for us – plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)! I am especially grateful that He knows what is best for us and that He desires for us to be open for Him to do His will through us. And that means that some of our prayers will go ‘unanswered’ – or what feels like unanswered.
As I reflected upon that request, I could sense God’s providence and wisdom in not answering it exactly the way I desired. My very limited view of the future kept my prayers incredibly constrained. However, God’s providence and ultimate wisdom saw my requests as not fitting into His plans for my life.
Have you had any past prayer requests that you are thankful were not answered in the way you had hoped? Can you take some time and reflect upon your life and see how your plans didn’t work out and God had something much, much better in store for you?
To help you in your prayer journey, I put together a gorgeous prayer pack.
My Meeting With The King: The Ultimate Guide For Prayer is now available! PS – subscribers get this resource for FREE. Sign-up for my newsletter below for your copy!
Here is the printable I promised! Check your printer settings for size before printing!
Here is the verse I mentioned in my Facebook Live video (see my post When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers). You might have to play around with your printer settings to get the size you want. Mine printed at 8.5×5.5 inches, which is a nice size for the fridge!
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