Wrestling With Unanswered Prayer

Wrestling With Unanswered Prayer
I have a confession. I’ve been struggling with an unanswered prayer. This prayer is deeply personal and emotional. I wrestle with it daily and sometimes wonder whether God is tired of hearing it. In quiet moments, as I contemplate the need and the circumstances surrounding it, I’m often brought to tears.

Trusting God, and remembering he has plans for me—wants only good for me (Jeremiah 29:11,) doesn’t always alleviate the pain. I’m left wondering why he hasn’t answered. I’m left with the possibility that he has answered, but hasn’t answered in a way I would have liked.

A.W.Tozer, in the book Prayer, compiled by W.L.Seaver, says “we should inquire who is doing the praying—our determined hearts or the Holy Spirit.” He says our own desires can lead us to prayers that are as carnal as any other act. Effective prayer comes from the Holy Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27)
I wonder am I wrestling in prayer, to obtain an answer using my own strength and determination? Am I looking for only one answer—my own way and in my own timing? Carnal prayer.
    I’m learning a hard lesson. I will still petition the Lord with my request, but there are a few guidelines I look to for peace:
  • I’ll remind myself, while I feel alone in the prayer, I’m not. The Holy Spirit is closer than my breath. Jesus Christ promised to be with me always.

  • I’ll remember Psalm 55:22 and give my burden to the Lord. He promises, when I trust him, he’ll never let me slip or fall.

  • I’ll remember the Lord looks for humility. I’ll give him charge of my life, as it is right now, in this place.
    James 4:10 ESV “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

  • I’ll remember the times I have seen his answers to prayer. I’ll remember the time I would have settled for less than the abundant blessing he had in store.

  • More importantly, I’ll remember I am safe in his hands.
    I watched a movie recently where a supposedly wise pastor advised a woman, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” (Note: Don’t look to movies for spiritual wisdom.)

    That pastor’s advice wasn’t true. God does give us more than we can handle. How else would we learn to depend on him? (Psalm 121:2) The truth is God doesn’t give us more than he can handle. Then, when the solution comes, the glory goes to its rightful owner.


Prayer, by A.W.Tozer is available at Amazon.com

Prayer: Communing with God in Everything--Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer



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