In my last post, I ended noting that even Jesus made repeated, unanswered requests before saying, “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done.”
So here’s what I’m thinking. See if you agree. If our best examples of faith have lived with the pain of unanswered prayer, would our worst case scenario be to live awhile longer without getting what we have been begging for? Or would the worst case be that we grow increasingly cool, bitter, and prayerless?
And who do we really want to pray for us? Someone who scorns the devil and claims to have heaven on a leash? Or someone like the Apostle Paul, who has been broken to the point of believing that when God says “no” or “wait” we can trust him?
How many of our questions can even be answered by Paul’s admission when he writes, “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Rom 8:26)
Maybe our faith in the Spirit who is interceding for us is even more important than knowing what to pray for in the Spirit.
If I’m reading the Scripture rightly, what is most important is that our faith not fail, that our hope not die, and that our endurance not cave in before God has a chance to surprise us with his goodness.
In our yet unanswered pleadings, can we hear in the distance echoes of our Lord’s own prayers for us? Can we hear the Spirit groaning in our behalf? Can we find strength in what Jesus said to Peter just before the darkness that would follow, “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
Now, what are you thinking?
Don’t feel limited by the following. But I’d like to know where you are in coming to terms with unanswered prayer:
Would you now be any more inclined to ask prayer from someone who is experiencing their own unanswered prayers?
Are you any more inclined now to see the honor of those who continue to wait upon God even when He withholds the answer they are longing for?
Could the unanswered requests of Job, or Hannah, or Jesus help to change the way you look at yourself– or others who don’t seem to getting answers from God?