Blog 41 / Our High Calling

When Our Prayers Go Unanswered

“The God we serve is able to deliver us…but even if He does not…we will not serve your gods” (Dan 3:17-18).

Have you ever been disappointed, even angry with God when He has not answered prayer in the way you wanted or expected? I am sure we all have. The thing is God has different priorities than we do.

We ask to be delivered from a trial when God wants us to go through it. We want our prayers answered now when God wants us to grow through waiting. We ask to be spared from suffering when God knows that our current difficulties are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs all of our troubles (2 Cor 4:17).

It is hard though if we have trusted God for something we really felt was His will only to suffer a huge reversal and have our hopes dashed. Unanswered prayers reveal our heart. If we get angry with God it shows that, at least in this area of our life where we have an unanswered prayer, God is not at the center—we are. If He was in the center then, whether He delivers us or not (Heb. 11:35), we can agree with the old hymn that “it is well with my soul.”

God is not fazed by our anger. He knows us so well and welcomes our honesty. But He does want us to grow and be more like His Son, expressing His same spirit of submission: “Let this cup pass from me and yet not my will but thine be done” (Matt 26:39 NIV).  God will strive with us to get us to the place of surrender expressed so well by John Wesley:

“I am no longer my own but Thine. Put me to what Thou wilt; rank me with whom Thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me employed for Thee – or laid aside for Thee; exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee. Let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to Thy pleasure and disposal.”

Can God trust us with reversals and disappointments in prayer? Maybe what we think is an unanswered prayer is actually God’s answer to prayers we once prayed, the ones where we asked Him to take us into a deeper walk of faith. Our current circumstance might just be the very thing God is using to help achieve that deeper walk.

At the end of the day it’s all about trust; trusting His heart especially during times when we don’t understand His ways.


Colin Stott
GRN Global Prayer Coordinator

read colin’s previous blogs:
key to unanswered prayer – blog 40
prayer and The bride – blog 39
The Battle is the Lord’s – blog 38
praying for workers – blog 37
finding time to pray – blog 36
when the church is under attack – blog 35
FEASTING and FASTING – blog 34
why ask for what we already have? – blog 32
is anyone praying for them? – blog 31
delays are part of answered prayer – blog 30
weapons of our warfare – blog 29
Keeping our spiritual fervor – blog 28
days of great harvest – blog 27
not i but christ – blog 26
what if – Blog 25
praying scripture – Blog 24
Prayer and obedience -Blog 23
the Prayer warrior – Blog 22
time alone with god – Blog 21
last resort – Blog 20
Prayer with rejoicing faith – Blog 19
travel the world through Prayer – Blog 18
lord, break me – Blog 17
ye have not because ye ask not – Blog 16
our Prayers reveal our heart – Blog 15
church of the living god – Blog 14
when we Pray for the lost – Blog 13
more than meets the eye – Blog 12
sugar cubes and  Prayer – Blog 11
it’s a wonderful life – Blog 10
the longings of god – Blog 9
praising god before he answers – Blog 8
no place like home – Blog 7
praying for god’s glory – Blog 6
are we known as formidable opponents – Blog 5
sugar cubes and Prayer – Blog 4
rejocing over god with singing – Blog 3
the indispensable Prayers of the church – Blog 2
the glorious end – Blog 1