Unanswered Prayer

Unanswered prayers – Mark Waterfield 08/12/19

We can intercede by praying prayers that change the here and now.

Prayer isn’t always wonderful – sometimes prayer deeply disappointed us. We can often pray for things and it didn’t seem like your prayers were answered!

This can lead to wrestling, anger and frustration as well as questions.

The Bible has a lot more to say about unanswered prayers than the church does!

Jesus himself struggled with unanswered prayers – garden of Gethsemane. [Mark 14:32-36]

3 things we must not do when wrestling with unanswered prayers –

1. Don’t be isolated – [verse 33] – Jesus takes his three friends with him and includes them in his distress. – We often want to go it alone when we become overwhelmed. – We need one another!!

2. Don’t believe the lie that God doesn’t care! – [verse 36] – Jesus says Abba father, he is in anguish but he starts with god’s love! – The father’s love is constant for us. – There is a tendency in times of uncertainty to pull away from our Father’s arms but we are called to draw near to him. – We are able to trust that which we can’t understand. [Isaiah 55:8]

3. Don’t limit God – [verse 36] – “Everything is possible for you” – Jesus affirms God’s power and authority. – We can downgrade our expectations to protect our heartache. – We need to be believing God for the impossible! – Whatever happens God is Lord of all things!

3 things we must do when wrestling with unanswered prayers –

1. Keep praying – persevere!

– [Luke 22:34] – The key to prayer is perseverance and persistence. – Many of us can give up too easily when we come across a problem.

2. Keep being honest – Jesus says take this cup from me – he is asking for another way. Him at his most vulnerable. – Jesus is real and raw. – God wants you to pray with radical honesty, we have permission. – You have freedom to be completely yourself with God.

3. Keep trusting God – “Yet not what I will but yours be done” – Jesus was sweating blood, extreme if physical stress, he surrenders to the will of God. – Not just when it makes sense and feels good but when it hurts deeply and he doesn’t know what will happen. – We know why Jesus’ prayers weren’t answered, but Jesus didn’t understand that. We read with the benefit of hindsight! – All those people in the Bible (Esther, Joseph, Shadrach etc) didn’t know how the story would end when they prayed the prayers they did but they surrendered to God will.

We all struggle with unanswered prayers in some way to some extent in our lives. Don’t doubt that God is our loving father, for who nothing is impossible.