Have you ever prayed for something and felt like God did not answer you? At times like that, you may feel like the writer of Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.” Many times, it has to do with the wrong motivation. We pray for entirely the wrong reasons and then cannot understand why God is “ignoring” us. In James 4:3, the writer tells us the following, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” When we ask God to win the lottery to buy a bigger house or drive a fancier car, God hears the prayer but does not respond. We may even try and convince Him of all the good we will do with the money once we win it, but He knows what our hidden motivations are, even if we try and hide it deep within us.
But what of the times when we approach His throne on our proverbial knees and beg for something worthwhile. Those prayers are not self-seeking; they are not even about us; they are genuine, fervent, and desperate. They are not even for our well-being but for that of another person. The individual may be gravely ill. Their situation is dire, and we are driven to our knees in prayer. We pray continuously with all our might, but our prayers are not answered. Instead of overcoming the illness, they succumb to it and pass on from this life. Our prayers for that person did not come from a place of selfish motivation but a genuine concern for them, so why did God not answer our prayers – why did we get a hard “no”? The harsh reality is that for 99.999% of the time, no one on earth will be able to give you a satisfactory answer that will remove your grief and disappointment at the outcome.
But there is a scripture that answers it for us. I am, of course, speaking of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Will this magically take your pain away? No, but with faith, it will help you understand there are some things beyond our understanding. At times like that, we have to rely on our steadfast faith, knowing that God has a reason, and there will come a time when that reason will be made available to us.
True faith trusts God more than our understanding of events. It is predicated on the belief that God is the Alpha and Omega, and everything happens within His will. Faith like that is power, the power to understand and overcome any difficulty we encounter.