Summary: When God chooses to answer our prayer, He does so for His glory not to make our lives more comfortable. When we receive an answer to prayer it is not so we can live our lives independent of His will, but so that we will be fulfilled in the center of His
You Asked For It
Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayer?
The cartoon character Ziggy is standing, looking up on a mountain. The sky is dark and there’s one cloud up there. Ziggy says,
‘Have I been out on hold for the rest of my life?” ( Tales of A tady Oxcart, C.Swindoll)
Sometimes prayer feels like that doesn’t it? “Will You ever answer?” As one man puts it, “The heavens are brass and nothing comes back.”
Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?
If we are honest, then we would have to admit that at some time we have asked the question, If God is all loving, and all-powerful, how come he doesn’t answer my prayers?
That is a fair question. It’s a question that deserves more attention then pithy statements, spiritual platitudes and religious clichés.
To be honest, If you’re looking for a simplistic formula, you’re going to be disappointed.
I know that some of you have been pleading with God for years about various issues; and still God is silent. You have been asking God to save your spouse, or repair your relationship with a prodigal child, or heal your past, or restore your marriage, or bring physical healing.
Perhaps you even wonder in times of reflection, "Am I the problem? Is God mad at me? Is it because I don’t have enough faith? Do my prayers even matter?"
And maybe, if we are brutally honest, sometimes we are filled with resentment. We see other people have their prayers answered, or other people who don’t even know the Lord don’t face the same problems you face. And in desperation, you cry out, "It’s just not fair."
Those are real feelings, and real emotions, and there are times when it is all you can do to keep your composure. On the inside there is a flood of emotions and questions.
Before we look at the text for this morning, I want to make two things absolutely clear:
First of all, God has promised to answer prayer.
David testifies in Psalm 91:15, He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
In Jeremiah 33:33, HE says, “Call to me and I WILL answer you”
In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you
This is saying EVERYONE not just the perfect or the righteous but to EVERYONE that asks will receive.
Then in John 14:13, Whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do.’
Wow, you could not get a clearer message than God has promised to answer the prayers of His children.
The second thing you need to realize is NOT EVERY PRAYER WILL BE ANSWERED, THE WAY I WANT IT TOO. O, we may not say it in so many words, yet that is our attitude many times. Let’s get one thing straight, The Bible does not teach that every prayer request is fulfilled, especially to our requirements.
Moses prayed to enter the Promised Land, but died east of the Jordan.
Jeremiah said in Lamentations; “You have covered yourself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through
Make no mistake, God does answer prayer. Sometimes He will answer yes, other times He will answer no, ( I once heard a preacher suggest a fourth possible answer to our prayers,; “ARE YOU CRAZY?!) but many times He will answer wait a little longer, there is something greater I want to accomplish in your life right now. In my reading this week, I came upon this poem, which reminds us that when we pray, God indeed does answer, but in ways we often do not take the time to realize.
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey
I asked God for wealth, that I may do great things,
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I may be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for but everything I hoped for.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
( Author unknown/ Speakers Treasury of 400 Quotable Poems)
Hear this beloved, there are times when it seems that God has not heard our prayer. Every hero of faith in the Bible and church history has experienced the pain of heavens silence.