When God Doesn’t Anwer Prayers the Way We Want

Lately, I’ve been pondering why God doesn’t answer prayers the way we want. Remember the prayer request I shared with you a couple of Fridays ago? (For a refresher check in out HERE.) I really wanted God to do what he did for Elijah and hold back the rain so my son’s end-of-season tennis championships would go as planned and I wouldn’t have to miss it while away at the Planting Roots conference the following weekend. I wanted to share the awesomeness of that miracle with the world.

But it poured that Saturday. 

Let me tell you what God did instead. 

Because it was even more awesome than I could have imagined.

When God Doesn't Answer Prayers the Way We Want

His Perfect Timing

Late Friday afternoon the coaches decided to postpone the tournament. Not to the following Saturday, but to Monday for the boys and Tuesday for the girls. Some might say God could have saved me a lot of grey hairs by making the announcement earlier in the week. But God wasn’t late in making this happen. He was right on time. I had the opportunity to share with you all and some other precious prayer warriors about my situation and ask for help. His timing meant I didn’t have to  split my Friday evening between a frantic trip to the grocery store and brownie baking for the event, so I could spend a little quality time with my hubby. It also kept me from making any new plans to fill the time on Saturday. 

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His Perfect Plan

I had assumed the tournament could only be rescheduled to a Saturday because the boys and girls would take so long work through the bracket. I never dreamed they could make it happen on two weeknights. Because the coaches split up the tournament it only took half as long. The change meant God multiplied my time and divided the number of hours I’d spend bleacher-sitting. With so many kids activities going on, I rarely plan to get much done weekday evenings, so because it was on a Monday I could be fully present not worrying about what else I wasn’t getting done. 

His Perfect Love

Not having the tennis tournament on Saturday freed my schedule for me to engage in a couple of neglected life-giving activities. First, I was able to sneak in with my amazing stylist and get a hair cut and color to head in to the conference with a little boost of confidence. Then, I hit the YMCA with my family for a little racquetball show-down. There was a lot of laughter and a little sweat, too! It was the perfect rainy day! Playing on Monday even made it possible for a few friends to join us at the courts and cheer for my son. 

Here is What I Learned

When God Doesn't Answer Prayers the Way We Want

When we only look for the answers we want, we blind ourselves to how He blesses. But when we determine to seek His goodness despite our disappointment we discover how He loves us abundantly above and beyond what we could have imagined on our own.

When you wonder why God doesn’t answer prayers the way you hoped, you can trust He answers in the best way possible with His perfect love and grace and mercy according to his perfect plans and His perfect timing.

My petition was pretty basic. I know there are some of you out there praying for big, life altering things. I have been there, too. 

For a child to be cured.

A marriage to be restored.

A prodigal to return.

For the money to make it to the end of the month.

Or a miraculous healing.

God Doesn’t Always Answer Prayers the Way We Want

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that His Father would all Him to escape the fate foretold of Him. He begged for another way to do God’s will. He longed not to feel the ache of separation from His Father. But He concluded His prayer surrendering to God’s will for His life. And God did something nobody else could have even imagined. Because Jesus willingly embraced God’s will, He wrote us into the greatest story in history—our salvation.

I am a firm believer that we must stare down our worst case scenarios and determine to trust God’s promises. No. Matter. What. Even when He doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want Him to. God may not always answer the way we want, but His ways are always higher and better, more love-filled, and far beyond our capability to understand because He sees what we cannot from the beginning of time throughout eternity in every heart and every mind.

So when God doesn’t answer prayers the way we want, let us determine to look for His better answer. We might just be blessed beyond our imaginations.

May we be so bold in our prayers that we ask Him to do what only He can in our situations. May we be so confident in His love for us all that we trust His will no matter what. And may we be so diligent in seeking His answers that we see them in every situation.

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When God Doesn't Answer Prayers the Way We Want

5 thoughts on “When God Doesn’t Anwer Prayers the Way We Want

  1. Trusting God comes with so many blessings, although it is hard at times. I remember when my husband was looking for work. It seemed like every door was slammed shut. We couldn’t understand it because he was a finalist for every job and I mean about 15 of them. But then a job came up back in our home state where we really wanted to be and that was the one he got! God had a plan for us that we couldn’t see because that job wasnt even out there yet! He was working it all out for our good!!

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