Few things can frustrate the Christian like unanswered prayer.When God doesn’t appear to answer our requests we may find that doubt is not far behind. We may doubt the reality of our relationship with Him. We may doubt His ability to hear us. We may doubt His ability to do anything about our requests.
We must remember when God doesn’t appear to answer our prayers it need not cause such doubting. The Bible reminds us that sometimes are prayers are not answered because we ask with the wrong intentions. James, the brother of Jesus, has written, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
We must also remember God’s answer may not come in the way we expect or they way we desire. Evangelist Billy Graham has written, “God is true to His Word and answers all sincere prayers offered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. His answer may be yes, or it may be no, or it may be ‘Wait.’ If it is no or ‘Wait,’ we cannot say that God has not answered our prayer. It simply means that the answer is different than what we expected.”
Although God’s answers may not be what we expected we generally can see God’s purpose when we look in hindsight .I know I have personally given God thanks that He has not answered some of my prayers in the way I had wished. C.S. Lewis once said, “If God had granted all the silly prayers I’ve made in my life, where would I be now?”
However, we must never doubt God’s goodness when we don’t find the answers to our prayers we expected. It is as one writer has put it, “When He grants our prayers, it is because He loves us. When He does not, it is also because He loves us.” Well said. God’s love is revealed both through His “yes” and His “no.”