Prayer Beginnings – Learning to Trust Again


What to do with our unanswered prayers?

“The single biggest discouragement in prayer is unanswered, deeply felt petitions…I have no answer to the problem of unanswered prayer, and frankly the typical answers don’t do much for me. Instead, I focus on who God is, and I continue to lay my petitions before God in faith, trust, and hope. Sometimes hope lags behind our petitions, and sometimes hope sustains us. But I keep on praying because I believe God is good. Sometimes it is discouraging, and I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit it.” – Scot McKnight

The reality is we all walk around with unanswered prayers. The burdens, the wounds, the scars – they begin to define us and prevent us from believing that God might actually be listening. The problem is they are only half of the picture. We only view our unanswered prayers from the perspective of the one making the request. We never make the attempt to see things from God’s vantage point. Perhaps there are good reasons for our prayers seemingly going unanswered. Our problem is not that we asked and didn’t receive; it is that we think the one to grant our requests just doesn’t care enough because we don’t see His reasons.

But God is very clear that He is a good God who is for us. Beyond that there is nothing left to do but trust. It is the hard work of a follower of Christ, to trust when prayers go unanswered and to continue to pray when our trust is wavering. Our persistence in praying shouldn’t be based on “results”, but strictly on the character of the God to whom we pray.