Too many times we get angry and we get frustrated with God because we feel like our prayers are going unanswered. We feel like he is not listening to us, and we think he doesn’t care about us. We think he has ignored our cries.
That’s not the case at all.
Sometimes God is training us and teaching us how to depend on him and how to trust in him fully. He is teaching us how to have faith, which is the “confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1). Other times he might be preparing us to be ready to receive what we are asking for. It’s not that the magnitude of our request is too large for God to handle. It might be that the magnitude of our request is too large for us to handle! He is a God of abundance, and he is “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20), so there’s nothing that we could ever ask of God that he cannot do.
However, in the midst of our prayers, we need to also ask God to prepare us for what we’re praying for. If not, when we obtain what we ask for, it becomes useless to us. You can pray to have a diamond, but when you receive it without knowing its purpose, it becomes of no value to you. “Never give what is holy to dogs or throw your pearls before pigs. Otherwise, they will trample them under their feet and then turn around and attack you” (Matthew 7:6).
Other times, our prayers go unanswered because our character traits do not match our prayer requests. You can’t pray for God to use you to move mountains and shake kingdoms when you are lazy, blasphemous, and lukewarm in your walk with God. This also ties in with preparation. Prepare and train your mind, body, and soul to be ready for the blessings that God is about to lay in front of you.
Another reason our prayers might go unanswered is because when we pray, we pray without expecting to receive. We do not fully have confidence that God is able to grant unto us the desires of our heart. If you don’t believe God can do it, then why ask him in the first place? There is nothing that he cannot do, so “when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7). All we must do is ask in faith and believe that our prayers are already answered.
Other times, when we pray, we ask out of selfish ambition. Our prayers are out of spite, to elevate ourselves and demean others. We ask for things, not because we need them, but so we can brag about them as if they were of our own doing. “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
We lose sight of who we are sometimes and begin to ask out of discontentment and out of comparison. It’s totally okay to be content with who you are and where you are in life. Contentment doesn’t mean complacency. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10).
When you are truly thankful and content with who you are, there’s no room for comparison and you begin to pray for things that actually matter. “But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6)
In a turn of events, God has actually answered our prayers. We are just unable to recognize it because it doesn’t appear exactly how we had imagined, or it doesn’t happen exactly how we imagined it would happen, so we cast it aside and continue to pray unyieldingly. It’s like we’ve already played out a huge scenario in our head of how we think the answered prayer will manifest itself. We often put God in a box, in terms of our we think he should answer our prayers.
If you would just open your eyes, remove God from the box you’ve placed in him and see that your prayers are already answered…
Essentially, there’s no formula for how a prayer should be answered. So, when you pray, try to always keep an open mind. Look for your answered prayer in the most unlikely of places. Look for your answered prayers in angels in disguises.
Before we get angry at God, we should reevaluate our prayers, search our hearts and discover the motives behind some of our prayers. Ask God if the timing is right, ask him if we are prepared for our blessings and look to see if the prayer has already been answered.
Rather than questioning God’s faithfulness and abundance, question the amount of faith you have.
Above all, when you pray, ask in the mighty name of Jesus. For at the mention of his name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that he alone is Lord!
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14)