Text Size: Zoom In

Unanswered Prayer (1st of 4)

Over time I’ve sensed that many of us have questions about prayer that we keep to ourselves. One of those questions has to do with unanswered prayers. See once if you track with me…

Would you ask someone to pray for you if you knew that person was living with the heartache of unanswered prayer? Or turn it around. Would you expect others to ask you to pray for them if they knew you were living with long-term unemployment, lost health, crippling debt, loneliness, an unhappy marriage, or wayward children?

I find that while some unanswered prayers don’t bother me much, others tend to have a cooling effect on how I feel about God. My natural inclination is to think that if my cries for help don’t move His hand, how can I presume to offer prayers for others.

Part of the problem is that, for the life of me, I sometimes can’t figure out whether I’ve done something– or haven’t done something, that would explain why God doesn’t answer.

It’s not that I feel that I’ve paid my dues and that God owes me something. Believe me, every day he gives me far more than I deserve. Beyond that, I’ve let him down so many times. And I do remember that the Apostle James says that we shouldn’t expect answers from God if we knock on the door of heaven with wrong motives (James 4:3).

But if I stop here, especially when I’m thinking about the unanswered prayers of others, don’t I sound a lot like Job’s friends who assumed that the reason Job was suffering, and the reason God didn’t answer his prayers, was that Job was hiding some sin that would explain his problems?

So before we go on, what are you thinking?

Don’t feel limited by the following. But here are some questions I’d like to hear some comments on:

Have you found that unanswered prayer causes a cooling in your relationship with God?

Would you agree that there may be more explanations for unanswered prayer than our own unwillingness to come clean with God?

Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (+19 rating, 20 votes)

31 Responses to “Unanswered Prayer (1st of 4)”

  1. klucas says:

    I think answers to prayer have more to do with God’s timeline than concerns about whether we have done/not done something. It may be that I’m not ready for the answer to that prayer at this moment, or that request may involve someone else who isn’t ready. Or perhaps circumstances need to change in order to be ready for the answer. In understanding that God isn’t bound by time, it’s easier to accept the waiting process. He has taught me that I can trust Him to give what I need at the right time. But sometimes the wait is frustrating!

    About asking someone who has experienced unanswered prayer to pray for my need…. I would be more likely to ask them. They know about being persistent in coming before God and being bold about asking Him to resolve their needs….. and they know how difficult it is to wait for the answer.

  2. jandam04 says:

    I personally, don’t believe that God doesn’t answer all prayers. Sometimes the answer is no! He does just as any loving parent does for a beloved child… sometimes the answer has to be no, for the child’s welfare.

  3. byhisgrace says:

    I don’t think it caused a cooling of my mother’s relationship with God but I think she/we all need a reminder that it is on God’s time table that the answers come not ours.

    This song hung in a frame on my mothers wall for many many years. I know that I was part of an “Unanswered Yet?” prayer that was on her lips every day of her life.

    I believe God does answer the prayers of his children and he did answer her prayer even if she didn’t live to see it.


    1. Unanswered yet? The prayer your lips have pleaded In agony of heart these many years?
    Does faith begin to fail, is hope departing,
    And think you all in vain those falling tears?
    Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer;
    You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.

    2. Unanswered yet? Though when you first presented
    This one petition at the Father’s throne,
    It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
    So urgent was your heart to make it known.
    Though years have passed since then, do not despair;
    The Lord will answer you, sometime, somewhere.

    3. Unanswered yet? But you are not unheeded;
    The promises of God forever stand;
    To Him our days and years alike are equal;
    “Have faith in God”; it is your Lord’s command.
    Hold on to Jacob’s angel and your prayer
    Shall bring a blessing down sometime, somewhere.

    4. Unanswered yet? Nay, do not say ungranted;
    Perhaps your part is not yet wholly done;
    The work began when first your prayer was uttered,
    And God will finish what He has begun.
    If you will keep the incense burning there,
    His glory you shall see, sometime, somewhere.

    5. Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered;
    Her feet were firmly planted on the Rock;
    Amid the wildest storm prayer stands undaunted,
    Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock.
    She knows Omnipotence has heard her prayer,
    And cries, “It shall be done,” sometime, somewhere.

    Psalm 143
    A Psalm of David.
    1 Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness

    Charles D. Tillman, 1894 (Public Domain)

  4. grievingsoul66 says:

    I’m 41 years old and recently widowed. My husband of 6 years died recently very suddenly and quickly at the age of 48. It’s been a very difficult time and God has been answering my prayers by making this time easier in other ways. I’ve been truly blessed with a great support system and I’m financially stable. However, my father has been petty and selfish and has not been there for me for petty and selfish reasons. I pray everyday for him and have been for a long time. This is one prayer that is being answered very slowly or not at all. I believe in some way it is being answered, I just can’t figure out how. Perhaps he’s answered it in other ways such as keeping my father away from me to protect me. I know I can’t change my father, but it saddens me that he is so closed hearted to God and his unconditional love. I truly believe the Lord does work in mysterious ways.

  5. saintvee says:

    I believe that God has answered every prayer, but I think our ability to hear, is based on our receptive positioning. Since there is nothing new under the sun, then every prayer has already been prayed and every answer given. The answers are in the scriptures, but that takes time and mediation and we’re often too busy or down right unwilling to search the Word. He said to “seek ye first, the Kingdom of God”-Matt 6:33. Once we know the Will of God (his Word), we can pray His Will over our lives, and we will receive His answer in our hearts. When the Word (answer) is hidden in your heart, it takes root and we begin to believe and speak the promise—“for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” -Matt. 12:34

  6. billy says:

    [The Father Issue]:
    Fortunately for us He has cut us much slack. Just because we are angry with our father and cannot talk to HIM, He has given to us a child; a son. We can talk to Him. And if our anger is so great, we cannot express it in words, He has provided to us the Comforter. He is Spirit. He can hear but a grown! (Provided for those of us that get tongue tied) He talks through the heart, before the mind has a chance to confuse it. Oh and thankfully, they are ONE that FATHER Son & Spirit. Now how much more slack do we need? He has provided for all of our shortcomings! The path has been laid for each of us. It may only appear to be different.

    [Unanswered Prayer]
    To me Unanswered Prayer is the same as answered prayer. The only difference is in the timing.

    I believe that much of the answer to your question begins with yesterdays devotional of 02-11-08 by David H. Roper; 2 Samuel 12:1-13.

    I found that the 2 Samuel 12:14-20 verses were even more revealing to your question [Have you found that unanswered prayer causes a cooling in your relationship with God?] Here, do I find that David considered (answered or unanswered) prayer cooling? I think not.

    In these verses David mourned and (my point), ceased to mourn. He did repent in the verses 1-13. Yet to me, the “proof” of his repentance was not alone in that he paid the consequences of his sin, appropriately even to the death of his son! Yet even as important as recognizing his sin, confessing his sin, turning from his sin, and then following his Lord even through the payment and consequences of his sin, was the following. He left the ‘old man’ dead with the sin. He went on to say:

    2 Sam 12:23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

    He went on with his life as a better man! Can we walk on so after a prayer or petition? Do we truly believe that it is in Gods’ hand? Or, by repetition, and doubt, do we wonder if we used all the right words; do we wonder as to if we used the right oil? The point here is that He knows our heart and through all of our persuasion or anxiousness, it is our heart that remains true to itself and our God. Let us rather trust in our heart (Spirit and Soul) rather than in our deeds and the doubts of this world (Body & Mind).

    Let us do as David did by example;

    Ps 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
    And He will give you the desires of your heart.
    5 Commit your way to the Lord,
    Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
    6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
    And your judgment as the noonday.

    If there were such a friend;
    If it were just done.
    In Christ alone is that friend;
    In Christ alone it is to be done! (wb)

    [Would you agree that there may be more explanations for unanswered prayer than our own unwillingness to come clean with God?]

    To the above question let me not appear too glib and display my true misunderstanding of the question, but say that I believe that I agree, there is more. It resides in God the Father Himself! It resides in part only to His Love, Grace, Mercy, Care, and Patience; His Countenance upon us! The explanation resides in His Position and our state. We are but the worm, yet confusingly also, the Beloved”! The explanation is that He is the potter and we are the clay.

    From one that stumbles much and,
    Has the fear of my own choice of words,
    Thank you from my heart,
    Your devotionals are inspiring.

    Just bill

  7. Richard71644 says:


    [Have you found that unanswered prayer causes a cooling in your relationship with God?]

    I’ve been praying for my mother & other relatives and friends to come to Christ for Year’s, and None of them have!
    I feel a Great Disappointment at No response from God, in that none of these people prayed for have accepted Christ so far.
    Then I think to myself, well…….He Is God, and can do as He wants to. And this is certainly True.
    And I am reminded that “I” am the only one in my whole blood line family that “Is” saved, and Why Me, and None of Them?
    But at the same time, I confirm with God how pleased that He has saved me, and I’m going to Heaven and will see Him face to face
    some day. I’m eternally grateful for so great a salvation I have In Christ.
    But, because of The “King”, I have ever lasting salvation. Praise God!
    Cooling………….well, I do find myself disappointed and not so inclined to Pray As I Aught To.
    Meaning, pray regularly for the unsaved one’s I have been praying for.
    And, I do get to feeling …………..”God, why haven’t You saved Even One of my loved one’s????”
    I’ve been praying for so many year’s for them, and doing so many things in hopes of their salvation.
    Surely You (God) could bring about just one for me, as an encouragement to “Keep The Faith”.
    After all, I’m Not God/Human, but merely a saved fallen man, trying to live a life pleasing to My God!
    And, over the many year’s(43 years) that I’ve been praying such prayers, I encountered several illnesses of my own, some Very Serious,
    and some not.
    Right now I’m on medication that is on the cutting-edge, and is possibly very dangerous to be taking, but does allow me to “have a life”,
    where back in 2001, it was questionable as to whether I was going to continue to live of not.
    I firmly believe God has been in all of this as well, and I am very grateful to Him for allowing and moving the souls of Doctor’s with His Holy
    Spirit, to help many with various illness’s, to have a better life.
    And yes, I too have thought that thought….”Have I done something Wrong, or Not done something, that is hindering the answering of my
    You mentioned James 4:3–wrong motives: Wanting my un-saved relatives & friends to come to Christ, and accept Him as their Saviour
    just Can’t Be Wrong.
    1st John 1:9……I strongly believe in “Daily Prayer’s of Forgiveness”, because I know I am only Man, and a sinner, and because of the “K”ing,
    my name is written down in the Lambs Book of Life. And I Praise God for that……..
    So, there is Nothing that is Un-confessed in my life.
    Am I saying that I am Perfect?? Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!

    [Would you agree that there may be more explanations for unanswered prayer than our own unwillingness to come clean with God?]
    Remember in Genesis, God “talking” to someone else??
    And of JOB, and all his trials?
    “God Can Do Just As He Pleases, Because He Is God”.
    And truthfully, doesn’t that “some times” bother you?? Some times……….yes, if were really honest with ourselves & Him.
    But, never the less, it’s true!
    And, I have to constantly remind myself: “God sees the WHOLE Picture, and we only see such a small section of Time”.
    Therefore, we have to “Trust Him”. And that’s really what it’s all about.
    “Trust & Obey, for there is No other Way, to be Happy In Jesus, But to Trust and Obey”.
    So I constantly remind myself to not try and “Judge God”, but remain humble and Trust Him, and be Thankful for all that He has done for Me.
    He (God) has the WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS, Not just little old me!

    In His Matchless Love, Richard

  8. sdoniger says:

    I have recently accepted Jesus into my life. I am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. I was raised Jewish and always believed in G-d but that was not enough for me. I needed something more and was lucky enough to have Jesus come into my life. I ask G-d for help on a daily basis. Sometimes I feel guilty asking for things. I include family and friends in my prayers. I know all good things will come in his time. I try to stay patient, humble, honest and willing. Sometimes I feel like why ask because he already knows what I am going to ask for. I often fall short but for now I will continue to try and live my life and try to help others. I believe there are no coincidences and G-d puts people in my life for a reason. I need to stay open minded and willing. Thank you for being there.
    Peace and Happyness,

  9. billk says:

    Good question. I’ve been told that God always answers our prayers. He gives us a “yes” “no” or “wait” answer, and it is the “wait” that we hate.

    I’ve got a son who I’ve been praying about for a little more than thirty years. He has a mental problem which has never been professionally adequately diagnosed. It led him to drugs early on. And he keeps going back to them, even though jailed many times for offenses connected to them. What is so troubling is that he always ends up attacking those who help him. Not physically, but verbally and by putting in false reports to authorities to get them in trouble. God has kept him alive, when he was very dangerously suicidal. And has gotten him off drugs for periods of time. But he refuses the help that has been offered to him, time and time again. The waiting is getting very long and wearying.

  10. martdehaan says:

    The transparency in these posts reminds me of David who could be “a man after God’s own heart” only by first being honest with his own.

  11. Lesliedawn says:

    We have a 21 y.o. daughter who has been in a comma with a feeding tube & ptl. skull removed since May. I sleep next to Laurie in a recliner. We also have five boys 9-19 y.o.
    I think that sometimes we get away from reading our Bibles & praying because we are not hoping in God as we ought to.
    And we then ask for prayer to read His Word to get close to Him once again. And God draws us close to Him once again.
    I’m glad that God looks on the heart. He is wonderful!

  12. paul davy says:

    Most days I find that when I ask Jesus to run the show He takes complete care of me in a wonderful way. Sometimes I ask Jesus for some thing and I don’t seem to get it. Okay is that bad? Maybe if I got it it would be a problem or become a problem, the thing is to keep on praying keep on in daily conversation with God keep on asking knocking seeking and talking to Him about it all. Nothing is what it seems and our thinking is not the best. Lots of times I have pointed out to God that He was right in the specific situation to not give to me or mine, It isn’t our time frame and it isn’t our agenda. Ouch!! Re family members getting saved I have some to and praying for same, so will God honor my prayers, will God save my family members, Hey God saved me and lots of people were praying for me for years, and I was contenious, and not at all interested; and God spoke to me and decision time, and not a hard one to make; and suprised the ones that were still living, and the ones that had passed on will be glad to see me in Heaven.

  13. bondservant2 says:

    I do not beleive in unanswered prayers. God answers all prayers of his children. BUT, it is not according to what we want, our way…it is HIS way, HIS timing and for HIS glory. He alone knows what is best for us.

  14. AL HARRIS says:

    I complained for a long time about my unanswered prayers until I heard my heart say, ” Have you considered all My answers to prayers that you have never prayed?”

  15. Barbara Bessey says:

    Usually God answers my prayers right away.
    But now, I am so grateful for unanswered prayer.
    We had been trying for nine months to buy our dream house. We did everything we were supposed to do, and much more. But repeatedly, we kept encountering unusual ‘road blocks’. We were told it was approved, but there was always something in the way. About three
    weeks ago, I asked God to please speak to me so I would understand. The Holy Spirit gave me only two words.
    “Balaam’s Donkey”. So I knew there was something in the spirit world, that like Balaam proding his donkey,
    I could not see. I could not see the angel intervening. Yesterday, I found out what it was.
    The house we were trying to buy caught on fire from
    faulty wiring! If all had gone through as I had planned,
    we would have suffered tremendous loss. God knew, and an angel stopped us every step of the way. Now, more than ever, I can see that if a prayer is not answered,
    God has a very good reason for it, and it is probably in my best interests! Praise God for unanswered prayer!
    Barbara B.

  16. LongRoad says:

    First, thanks for approaching an honest and very real question: “Have you found that unanswered prayer causes a cooling in your relationship with God?”

    Answer: Yes… yes it has. As selfish as that may sound and as real as I know God to be, I have found this to be a personaly topic and subject of inquiry with the Lord.

    So often times, we are told in churches and Christian circles, that our relationship with the Father and our sins are the main issues and hinderances to unanswered prayers. The reason you don’t have a spouse or children, or have wayward children or spouse, divorce, or suffer persecutions, trials, failures, struggles financially, physically, spiritually, on and on the list goes.

    Before accepting Christ, all was your fault for your sins, circumstances and failures. After coming to Christ with repentance and finding forgiveness, all is still your fault for your circumstances and lack of whatever (compaionship, relationships, money, health, family, friends, faith, career or job success, etc…). So often times the message is touted (like a double edged sword) and it’s a danged if you do and danged if you don’t kind of response to obvious and observable unanswered prayers and issues in a person’s life. Kind of being judged “out” as if one has not truly followed “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you,” because those things haven’t been added to your life, only taken away. It can raise the accusation and most certainly the question of failure as a Christian.

    As the goal is the “seek ye first…” having God at center of all that we say and do, when there are long hard times of persecution and injustice with unanswered prayers, it would for some naturally call into question, “What am I doing or not doing” to have caused or contributed to so much lack and unanswered prayers.

    I think it stands to reason that “Job and his friends” kinds of situations still exist today. There are numerous issues in life that contribute to “lack” and unanswered prayers (sin, free will of self and others, satan and his followers, and perhaps, issues that God alone knows and does not nor has to share with us). Unfortunately, much lack in the life of a Christian; i.e., unanswered prayers, can honestly contribute to a cooling. The spirits of dejection, rejection and doubt can be found in quite strong persuit on the battlefield in the face of unanswered prayers. It kind of doesn’t give a grand testimony to the unsaved in the world that to follow Christ/God means to suffer and lack so much, especially in what God holds and important (family, marriage, etc.). Situations that would appear to others to indicate there is some kind of holy indifference to your plights or circumstances. Those watching year after year and “Joe Christian” is still lacking.

    Turning the matter to a different perspective, that “cooling” period can also lead or draw a person into a deeper and more meaningful pursuit of God and His wisdom. One begins to ask and petition God for guidance and understanding. To find out the heart of God on what truly is important to Him and to you.

    The kind of “stand off” on unanswered prayers can be the the key to spiritual growth and maturity if you really are willing to take a hard, honest look at the question posed and admit, from time to time, I’ve wondered and pondered in silence, drawing back and cooling a bit due to so many unanswered prayers.

    Unanswered prayers can bring about questioning. What should I pray for? How should I pray? To whom should I pray, Christ (my advocate) or directly to the Father? Have I prayed enough on a particular matter (without seeming to doubt and trust God)? Is what I am praying for in His will? What is His will? Am I trying to do God’s part? What is my part? Is there something more or less that I should do? Should I just accept that there is no answer? Should I hope for an answer? What part does faith answer with regards to unanswered prayers? Am I expecting too much, too little? Should I expect anything at all?

    Somewhere in the midst of the many questions that may stem from unanswered prayers, you can find an awakening of perhaps this is just what God indeed wants. To fan the flame of your desire to understand, to question, to “seek ye first.” An irony of sorts. :)

    I find as a Christian, there are so many, many, many blessings that God graciously gives me and others each day. I’m sure a large majority of those blessings I’m not even aware of. :) His presence with me, the little prayers often not uttered, but graciously answered by a loving Father are all welcome encouragements to continue to pray and seek the Lord. The ability to pray for others and myself to the Creator of All is truly a great gift, regardless of the answer(s). Still yet there are many unanswered prayers, just as there are many prayers yet to be prayed.

    God bless.

  17. cerenity says:

    I believe that there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. Because if God said No your prayer was answered. Not all prayers have an yes answer. If God said “No” your still blessed because God has something better for you that you don’t know about yet. Yes, your prayer was answered with a imphatic NO, but thats ok. You still got an answer.

  18. greenmarble says:

    Could someone tell me what to do with a friend who is leaving her children and husband for a new job and a new man? Her husband is acting violent and controlling toward her, which indicates that he is abusive to her and has been in the past. the problem is the children are witnessing this and are stricken with horror at this treatment. I have been praying, but things are getting worse. He is getting more violent, and the kids are getting more exposure to this. How can anyone sustain a relationship with a violently angry man? Do I just continue to listen and pray? They have had counseling, and he is being counseled. Please help me help them!!! Pray that God protects the innocent children…..

  19. 4everwealth says:

    Do I think unanswered prayers cause a cooling in my relationship towards God? Yes. I find that I don’t pray formally, like wake up in the morning and during my quiet time, pray. I still pray in the course of the day, prayers like; God help me. God I worship you. God, give me wisdom. God forgive me. But I see myself not being specific like I used to be.

    Do I think there’s another explanation why my prayers for a baby hasn’t been answered yet or why I didn’t get that job I prayed for so earnestly? Yes, I believe it’s to do with God. It’s not about me, my needs and desires but all about God. I’m learning to surrender all to Him. I must confess, it hasn’t been easy but I thank God for the consciousness of God always. I like I say to people: I know no other way, except God’s way. So, I continue to trust in Him.
    God bless you, Mart.

  20. Mart De Haan says:

    I really appreciate your honesty.

  21. chalice says:

    I’ve stumbled onto this topic long after others have gone on to newer posts, but I want to add a comment too, even if it is just to hear myself think this through.

    I believe God answers all prayers. As others have said, the answers include: Yes, No, and Wait. I think there is also another answer: Let me show you something new and better. For example (just one among many), in trying financial times it is easy to go through a period of burdens and hardship, with the inevitable prayers for more money, a better job, or some variation of those things. Sometimes more money or a better job comes along and we feel as if God has answered our prayer with a yes. Sometimes the money and job do not materialize and we are tempted to think the answer is No or Wait. But sometimes the answer might be to lead us to a better understanding of how we have fallen as stewards of what we are already entrusted with. Or perhaps the answer is in a change of heart about what is important and it wasn’t money or a job, but a closer walk with Christ and a profoundly more loving relationship that made the thing we prayed about less important. Or perhaps the hardships we experience lead us to a better compassion for others in similar (or even more dire) circumstances with the result that we open ourselves up to a new ministry to others.

    In other words, the thing prayed for may not even need a Yes or No or Wait answer. It may not even be central to what is best for us in the long run. The answer that comes may be: Let me show you a new and better way. And in the process, what changes is not the outcome prayed for but the inner person we become.

    It takes courage to accept the possibility of such an answer because we must recognize that the journey He may take us on may be radically different from what we hope for and feel comfortable about asking for. Sometimes (like Jonah) God takes us to Ninevah, even though we would just as soon head in a different direction. The prayer still gets answered. Only this time the journey and the outcome were things we couldn’t see or were afraid to accept or we simply didn’t want to contemplate in the first place, even though the person we become is profoundly changed from where we started at the time of our prayers.

    It seems to me, part of a prayer life is surrendering the belief that we have to have things answered in a context that we want or within a comfort zone that we enjoy. We have to have the courage and faith to let God be God. …and be prepared to go to Ninevah once in a while.

  22. nicoler273 says:

    I still believe that god answers prayer, but at this time Im wondering how long ,I have been without a place of my own for two years and I cant seem to find another job. Dont get me wrong I’m thankful to have a roof over my head because I could be on the streets but God provides for me and my daughter. I have not been going to church like I used to and stop reading my bible as I should . I have a lot going on in my life and it seems to be getting the best of me but God is good and I know he cares for me. I still give God all the praise and will continue to do so.

  23. poohpity says:


    We may find in difficult times we pull away from God when things are not happening in our time line but He is still there working things out for you. It is not a time to pull away from reading the bible but a time to read more so that He can speak to you through those pages and let you know you are not forgotten but loved very much and cared for more than you will ever know or understand. Patience and trust is developed in the struggle. I have been where you are and it may be a time that He has given you without so much responsibility so you can spend more time with Him.

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Nicoler273, I will pray for you too.
    But if you keep praying to God, He will answer, and will give you a way out.
    There was a time when I did not read the bible, nor go to church, but prayed to God a lot. And He helped me through. Now I read the bible, and it is a spring of life to me.
    And I am attending a church right now. Still not sure wheather I should sign in as a member, but attend.
    And Pooh, you wrote a few weeks ago about feeling terrible, and then you went out and comforted people, and were very much comforted by that yourself. Do not remember when that was. But this I found on the morning meditation of august 21, of CH Spurgeon.
    Thought to share it here:

    “He that watereth shall be watered also himself.”
    Proverbs 11:25

    We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labor is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief. We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge. Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet’s wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over.

    C.H. Spurgeon

    So praying for others is watering yourself as well. (Not that that should be our motive.)

  25. patsplace614 says:

    I would have to say that for me many of my prayers have been unanswered and I must admit in my earlier years as a christian it was just a matter of standing on the Word alone during those dark times without an answer. My emotions raged within me at times and my mind fought against whatever the Bible had to say to my aching heart. I must admit now much later in my life those prayers were not unanswered in the sense I thought they were. His answer was not answering them because now I am able to help others who have no answer. Today our world is full of suffering people without answers, and it is true there are no more answers left for a lot of people except Jesus. But some people do not understand that yet that is where I (and hopefully you) come in. I truly, deeply understand them and when I am I bring with me my unanswered prayers, no not in words but in presence. No words have to be spoken there is just an understanding that I too have had no answers. There are times when by God’s grace I speak to let them know that Jesus is the answer anyone really needs. Let your motive be love and even if you make mistakes it will work out for the best of everyone. Out of Jesus’ suffering came life, how can I not believe that out of my suffering God would not want to do the same.

  26. leepje says:

    I am a Christian therapist working with adults who were abused sexually, emotionally, and physically as children. For those who were believers at the time of the abuse, and those who prayed for God to protect and/or deliver them from the abuse, the question of why God didn’t answer their prayers is huge. Their churches have answered them with what the clients consider platitudes–“All things work together for good..God was refining you…He was there with you, etc.” The client’s focus is feeling abandoned and ignored by God. I encourage them to seek Him now but the pain is so great that it is difficult for them…any thoughts…I have listened to Angela’s story and it doesn’t quite address the questions…thanks.

  27. poohpity says:

    We may never have answers as to why and it is OK not to have the answers. I still feel at times disappointed at unanswered prayers. Jesus prayed in the garden for God to take the cup of the Cross from Him but included not his will but God’s will be done. This is a very tough question and we may never know the answer. I understand the questions of why did not God help me in my abuse but I have found healing even without the answers through the Lord. I am able to empathize with the pain they suffer.

  28. leepje says:

    Thank you for your response. Could you share more specifically how you found healing?

  29. poohpity says:

    The first thing I did was read the bible from cover to cover and discovered there where many things that I could not explain but what I did notice was how many folks were not perfect but God used them without regard to their imperfections. I was then lead to go to college and learned that there is most of the time a reason that folks abuse it is because they were abused and knew of no other way to parent. Then it became more about looking at the way I did things and found that because of Christ I could break the chain of abuse. If I concentrated on the things done to me I stayed stuck so I learned how to be different and forgave them because they really had no clue about their behavior. The healing came over time with spiritual insight and reading the bible. It sounds so simple but it takes a lot of looking within because I can not change anyone else but I can allow God to change me and He has.

  30. dotmaewalker@att.net says:

    Greetings Mart, first time…My response to Septs helpful message on prayers answered: Jesus, as the Father’s obedient Son, will indeed grant us those requests that are in harmony with the Father’s will and purpose for Christ’s disciples. I must carefully ask myself:”Do I know who I am in Him?” If I do and I have accepted that relationship as His disciple in His body, I will ask in accordance to my yoked identity with Him and He will answer. Your sister in Christ, dorothy Thank you so much

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.