Last year during the time when I was in the hospital with Covid, my precious mother-in-law was admitted to a different hospital. When I got the call that she was failing, I asked God to give me a chance to talk with her one last time, but I was not given that opportunity. I prayed fervently that she would live and recover, but she did not. Others, including myself, recognize the strong prayer life that God has developed in me for ministry. I know the power of prayer and what the Scriptures teach in James 5:16 (NLT), “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
So how do you continue in your faith walk when your prayers seem to go unanswered? I say “seem” because God answers all prayers. We must be attentive to His answer and leading for that particular incident. Remember what it says in Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV), “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Here are three things to keep in mind when it “appears” our prayers go unanswered:
1. God is God: He answers to no one and is not obligated to carry out our desires and wishes. Remember that He is sovereign over all that He created.
Isaiah 45:9-11 (NLT) – “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, ‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’” This is what the LORD says—the Holy One of Israel and your Creator: “Do you question what I do for my children? Do you give me orders about the work of my hands?”
2. God is Love: Since He is love, He is not capable of operating outside of a loving motivation in all that He does. This is hard since we as humans do not have the capacity to fully understand this agape love. We feel if He loves us, He will not let us suffer severely.
Matthew 7:9-11 (NIV) – “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
3. God is Wise: There is no knowledge or wisdom that supersedes God’s. No one can instruct or give Him advice about ANYTHING. So, His plans unfold according to His wisdom of past, present, and future events. If we could see our life from His point of view, we would see how our life is unfolding according to His perfect plan.
Ephesians 1:11 (NLT) – “Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.”
Colossians 2:2-3 (NLT) – “I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
On this Mother’s Day, I no longer have my mother or mother-in-law to lavish love upon. Even though this fact once shattered my heart, it does not shatter my faith in Father God who answers all prayer perfectly for my good and for His wise and perfect plan.