Prayer

An Unanswered Prayer Isn’t the Last Word

By Carol Round | Assist News
women praying

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God”— Philippians 4:6 (NIV).

As I’ve grown spiritually, I find myself praying more often. Throughout my day, when someone or something comes to mind, I lift them in prayer. However, before I leave the house, I start the morning with prayer and my favorite hot drink—Earl Grey tea.

I’ve created a special place to meet with my Abba Father each morning. In the corner of my spare bedroom are several devotionals, a notebook for jotting down my thoughts and prayers, pens, pencils, and highlighters, and most importantly, my Bible. I have 11 Bibles, but my favorite is The Prayer Bible.

In the narrow side margins of each page, prayer prompts invite the reader to pray. Each prompt offers the reader direction on how to pray the Scriptures by praying the actual words of the Scripture, or by using the Scripture as a starting point to devise your own prayers. Included throughout the pages are prayer traditions, prayer paths, prayer quotes, and stories of answered prayers.

Why Prayer Matters

I love reading and hearing stories of answered prayers. Often, I share my own answered prayers with others to offer encouragement and to remind myself of how God has worked in my life.

When I remember what God has done in my life through answered prayers, it gives me hope during the times when I wait for an answer. Waiting is the hardest part.

If you’ve ever questioned why your prayers haven’t been answered, know that God does hear us and He does answer. However, it just doesn’t always come in the manner we’d expect, and it doesn’t always mean we get what we want.

When Prayers Aren’t Answered

In “What About Unanswered Prayer?” by Douglas J. Rumford, he shares the story of Diane and her son, Brian, who were returning from a holiday visit with family. Rounding a curve on a country road, Diane—she still doesn’t know what happened—ran up an embankment and the car flipped over. Brian was killed and Diane had a broken neck. Rumford wrote, “But God sustained her, and she recovered.”

After Rumford preached on unanswered prayer one Sunday, he received a note from Diane. She wrote: “Through months of grief and confinement, God repeatedly said, ‘Be still and know that I am God’…I was not to question God. I was to trust Him.”

Continuing, Diane penned these words: “God sent me special reassurance three months later in pictures Brian had taken himself. One was of Brian’s hand with a ‘thumbs up’…. Brian was OK and he’s definitely with God. What more could a mother ask for? Satan still tries to defeat me with whys and guilt, but God is stronger. The truth is that we won’t know the answers until we are in heaven. We must just trust God in all the good and bad and continue to seek Him and study His word.”

What We Learn About Unanswered Prayer

Rumford concluded with these words. “What a powerful testimony of acceptance and courage. Diane learned that unanswered prayer isn’t the last word. The Lord himself is our answer…. And, wonder of wonder, God will use unanswered prayer to answer your deepest prayer to become more like Christ, growing stronger on the way.”

It’s stories like this one that strengthen my faith. I love God’s Holy Word and reading the stories of others who’ve struggled but overcome, even when their prayers go unanswered.

Evangelist Billy Graham once said, “This should be the motto of every follower of Jesus Christ. No matter how dark and hopeless a situation might seem, never stop praying.” Even when our prayers go unanswered, we might remember that “The Lord himself is our answer.”

***

After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.