From talking to several people, I think I could accurately say that unanswered prayers are one of the primary reasons why people do not believe in God or are angry with Him. They pray to be healed from a sickness, to get a job, to have kids, you name it.
Then when these things do not happen in their life they blame God. However, God is not a genie. He is not just here for us to come to when we want something from him. This is where prayer becomes misunderstood.
6 Essential Things to be Understood About Prayer
1. God is sovereign-Frist of all, we MUST understand that God is sovereign, meaning He is in control and authority over all things. He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (infinite in power), and omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time). Therefore we should trust he has a plan for us and our lives, and when our prayers are not answers we must have faith that He knows what He’s doing.
2.Prayer is to shape our hearts-Prayer is not used to get what we want from God. It is to form our heart, mind, and soul more towards the image of Christ. It is a time to ask God to conform our will to be His. It is where we express to Him our gratitude for Him and the blessings in our lives. We can still come to him and share our wants and needs because He truly cares and wants to hear about them. Prayer is not solely just for that it is worth so much more.
3. Prayer is having a relationship with God-Prayer is how we communicate with God. This is how we form a relationship with him. Just like in any other relationship if you do not talk to one another you grow distant. When your relationship is not growing, it is dying. Therefore, prayer is essential to stay close to God.
4.Prayer and the word cause introspection– Prayer and reading the Bible lead to introspection (examination of ourselves). This helps us look within ourselves to access where our motives truly lie. The Holy Spirit aids in the feeling of conviction if we are doing something that does not please God. Through prayer and reading God’s word things become clearer to us.
5. Prayer brings peace-There is nothing more freeing than giving our problems, worries, stresses, weaknesses, insecurities, anger, sadness, etc. into God’s hands. When I humbly come before him in prayer and confess to him such things and say I am not strong enough to handle them on my own please help me. I officially rest everything in His hands. The peace I experience is overwhelming.
6. Prayer is powerful-Like addressed in my previous post, I believe among most people today prayer is underestimated. As we look in the Bible it is clear how vital and strong prayer really is. The power of God is not limited. Why then do we not pray about everything?
With the above in mind, how are we to be angry with God for not answering our prayers. Are we an all-knowing or all-powerful God? Do we know what is best for us or the world? We only possess an extremely small lens through which we see our lives. God sees the entire universe’s life and has a plan for us.
We need to have enough faith to trust God with our prayers and he will do the right thing 100% of the time. Even if sometimes we do not understand why certain things happen, we still know God is in control.