Unanswered prayers have the ability to either completely shake you or re-shape you. Do you have one? I remember many nights sitting on the floor. Utterly broken. Feeling my face overflow with many tears. The pleas. The cries. Feeling completely unheard, completely alone. I can reflect upon the numerous hours spent pleading for God to answer me, to guide me, to tell me why. To show me how this could possibly be promised to be for not only my good but also His.
“God, would you please just answer me?”
Maybe you’ve been there with me. Maybe you’re sitting on that floor right now reaching out your hands for hope -- for a reminder, there has to be some way you aren’t forgotten or alone. It’s easy to believe the promises of redemption from God when you’re watching the scriptures unfold in front of you. But what about those moments when you have to fight through the tears in blind faith that you’ll actually receive them?
In my journey of walking through being abandoned in my marriage, I checked off multiple different boxes in the healing process along the way: the denial that this could possibly be my reality, the bargaining with God to somehow bring me a miracle, and the feelings of failure because everything was out of my control. I initially kept clinging to faith that if I just said one more prayer, if I just fasted this much longer, or if I prayed this much deeper my “life” would come back to me.
But the days passed. The months drifted.
And this pain felt like it was extremely far from being lifted.
There comes a point you have to decide: do you hold fast to your specific prayer? Or do you surrender it by instead asking for His will to be done, and in faith believing the outcome must serve a far greater purpose than you could come to know?
He is a good Father. He sees the depths of our hearts, and He knows our deepest cries and desires. Your unanswered prayer has absolutely nothing to do with your worthiness of receiving your answer. Let me repeat. Your worth has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not you get your “hoped for” answer. For a long time, I battled this and believed that had to be true -- but The Lord kept pointing me to scriptures to remind me He has gone ahead of me and genuinely knows what’s best for me. No amount of works, prayers, or behaviors will change what has already been destined for me.
Sister, if it’s true for me, the same truth applies to you too.
When I was walking through this season, I was captivated by Abraham’s story in the Bible. This man had some serious faith! Abraham walked through his own seasons of turmoil and waywardness but still chose to fight through to believe God was in the midst of all of it.
“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21
This is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. Abraham genuinely had no reason to believe that his reality in front of him would transform into the promises of redemption, but when he did The Lord’s glory was brought through his radical faith. He didn’t have an instant understanding. He also faced unanswered prayers and spent many years in the waiting, yet God remained faithful to His promise He’d be the father of the nations.
I share this with you to fiercely empower and encourage you. I learned that God’s relentless pursuit of me didn’t necessarily mean it had to be seen in front of me. Rather, the depths of His love kept my focus on the kingdom above.
While your unanswered prayers may feel like they are breaking you, how beautiful it is to believe that God is using them as building blocks to becoming a better you. Becoming the person with a magnified faith. Becoming the person who believes scripture to be true that God is for you, despite what has or hasn’t happened to you. Becoming the person who chooses to stand faithfully instead of circumstantially. Becoming a living testimony that God’s greatest workings were crafted out of your deepest pain.
Unanswered prayers may be opportunities for your greatest transformation. One day you will meet God in this place to see what you hoped or prayed for couldn’t possibly compare to what He has had in store for you this entire time. Like me, God will use your story, your tears, and your unanswered prayers - someway somehow - to help point others to the greatest answer of all - Jesus.
Our God doesn’t cancel without the intent to re-create.
He is our “answer” to our “unanswered”, and our redeemer against all odds and all hope. Don’t give this the power to break you or shake you, but believe in faith this too will beautifully re-shape you.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good; to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV)