Monday, August 31, 2015
There Are No Unanswered Prayers
August 28, 2015
Sometimes God answers our prayers immediately. We pray for a job offer in the morning and get a phone call by dinner. We pray for clarity in a difficult circumstance and find resolution by week’s end. But sometimes he answers prayers more slowly. Sometimes he’s working behind the scenes of our trials, yet we can’t see his handiwork—leading us to feel like our prayer has fallen on deaf ears. When we are in the position of waiting for God to act—to remedy a situation, to heal an illness, to bring a wayward child home—and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, it can overwhelm us and cause unbelief to surface. Like most people, many prayers leave me wondering if I’ll ever hear an answer in this life.
We aren’t the first to experience such silence.
Abraham waited years and years for God to provide the promised son (Gen. 21:1–7). Joseph suffered silently and alone in Egypt until adulthood, waiting for God to reunite him with his family. On more than one occasion the Israelites faced captivity for hundreds of years as they waited on God to deliver them. They waited for the promised land in the wilderness. And they waited on the Messiah to be born.
In each of these circumstances, the waiting lasted far longer than anticipated. And at many points Israel trusted in what was seen, not in what was unseen.
When God is silent, we’re often tempted to doubt his goodness. We’re tempted to doubt his promises can really be true. We doubt he will answer our prayers. the rest image