Tuesday, August 22, 2017

In praise of unanswered prayer

Much is written about the "problem of unanswered prayer", but there's a flip side to that. It means we're not ultimately responsible for getting answers to prayer. God answers some prayers while leaving other prayers unanswered, and it's not up to us which is which. If a prayer goes unanswered, it's not necessarily or even generally because we failed in some way, although, as James explains, there can be impediments to prayer (e.g. faithless prayer, ill-motivated prayer). When I pray, I'm not in control. The results are entirely in God's hands. If the prayer goes unanswered, or appears to go unanswered, that may be disappointing, but it's nothing to fret over. We might fret over our circumstances, but there's nothing more we could have done or should have done to ensure an answer. We can't make God gives us what we request. And that's a relief. That takes the weight off my shoulders. It means it's not our fault if the prayer goes unanswered. No one's to blame. Not God. Not the supplicant. It's just that God, in his wisdom, chose not to grant our request–for reasons we may never understand in this life. 


  1. Thanks Steve - you're a frequent encouragement to me.

  2. Obviously the benchmark for theology shouldn't be country music (or any music for that matter), but this was just too on-the-nose to let it go by unremarked:


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