Struggling with Unanswered Prayer

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Praying in God's will takes the struggle out of unanswered prayer.

And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it (John 14:13-14).

My days in December were devoted to hovering over my husband in the hospital. On the morning during the first week of the hospitalization, when the dreaded diagnosis of a MRSA infection was confirmed, the above verses were in my devotional reading. I read them, then went mechanically to the next phase of my reading.

Even as I moved on, I knew I was covering up the fact that I didn’t really believe those verses. Not at that moment. Or at least, they didn’t seem to be true for me. But instead of repressing my uneasy thoughts, I went back to the verses. This time when I read them, I said as softly and respectfully as I could, “Lord, these verses don’t seem to work for me.” In response, all I heard was silence.

So I repeated my thought, this time a little more vehemently, “God, I know Your Word is true, but these promises don’t seem to be true for  me. I’m struggling with the fact that I have been asking You to heal Danny and make him better, and he has gotten decidedly worse. He has MRSA!” Again, all I heard was silence. So I waited. To my mind, came a gentle whisper... Anne, I will do whatever you ask when it’s in My will. That brought me up short. In My will?  Surely it was in His will to make Danny better. So I inquired, “Don’t You want Danny to get well? Why have You allowed this to happen to him? Lord, what is Your will for him?” And again, so softly it was more of an impression than a whisper, I felt what He wanted to do for Danny was something on the inside. Something spiritual. Not physical.

So I began praying differently. I began to ask God to give Danny a fresh touch from heaven. I began asking God to give him a glimpse of the Lord, seated on a throne. . .to give him a vision of the glory of Jesus Christ such as had been given to Isaiah when something bad had happened in his life, too (Isaiah 6:1-8). I fervently asked Him to use the infection, and all the trauma that went with it, to revive Danny on the inside.

Immediately, I saw the Spirit of God begin to work. Miracle after miracle. Blessing after blessing. Mornings and evenings especially, as we shared Scripture and prayed together, whether it was just the two of us, or with other family members present, I glimpsed evidence of a deep spiritual renewal on the inside of Danny Lotz. 

And then God restored him physically. He was home for Christmas Day. Then he returned home for good on Dec. 28. I could almost hear the choirs of Heaven singing Glory, Hallelujah, to the One who is still seated on the throne! Even now, weeks later, I can see the glow of revival fire in Danny’s eyes, and hear it in the tone of his voice. 

So I humbly bow my head and thank God for re-teaching me a life-lesson. He has reminded me that when I pray, I am not to assert my will, demanding and expecting Him to do what I ask. And I am not to assume that I know what God’s will is. Instead, I am to ask Him what He wants. I am to ask Him how I can pray, so that His will is done here in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, as it is done in Heaven.  

Something else He taught me: praying in His will takes the struggle out of unanswered prayer.

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