When Prayers go Unanswered

23 10 2012

Ask and ye shall receive…whatsoever ye ask, believing, ye shall receive…if ye ask anything in my name I will do it…ye have not because ye ask not…He shall give thee the desires of thine heart…need I go on? There are many prayer promises that are simple and easy to understand, giving us whatever our heart desires…right? It did not take long after I received Christ as my Savior to find that many of my prayers go unanswered. Correction, all of my prayers have been answered but not with the answers that I really wanted. For instance, Paul made a legitimate request in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 for a thorn in the flesh to be removed. It was a burden that he carried and was hindering his ministry in some way. It could have been poor eyesight ( Galatians 4:15; 6:11), epilepsy from his stoning at Lystra (Acts 14:19), a speech impediment (2 Corinthians 10:10), or a distracting physical appearance (2 Corinthians 10:10). Whatever it was, Paul believed it was a messenger from Satan, distracting him from his calling to preach the gospel. He prayed and the burden was not removed. I believe he died with that thorn. His prayer was answered, just not in the way he would like.

So the thorn remains, the burden is not taken away. It happens, but what about the pain? Perhaps that is the wrong question. Perhaps we need to ask, how can pain benefit me? Pain the Lord by His sovereignty kept in our life, in spite of our earnest prayers for its removal. Let me share six possible reasons…

1. It lets us know that something is being achieved.
2. It reminds us of our heavenly Physician
3. It indicates our heart is still tender
4. It directs our attention to the cause of pain
5. It allows you to deepen your faith in a good God
6. It gives you a greater appreciation of Heaven

2 Corinthians 12:10
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

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