How to Remain Strong When God Doesn’t Answer Our Prayers
I never came so close to the fulfillment of my desire to become a mother as I was that May with two implanted embryos in my uterus. This time I would surely get pregnant, I thought. In a blink, the day of the truth came. It took just a few minutes to take the pregnancy test. I was so afraid to look at it, so when I finally did it, my brain refused to accept what my eyes saw.
No, this could not be true! That was a mistake! Like in a dream, not sensing my legs, I dragged myself to a bench in the park. With all the energy drained from my body, I had no wish to talk to anybody. The shock waves built a high prison, which silenced the outer world. And it was such a gorgeous spring day! Nature showed itself in its splendor, bursting with joy and life while this heartbreak sucked the life out of me.
Oh God, why? Why again? Why are you not granting my desire to become a mother? Why are you crushing my dream and leaving me a barren woman, heartbroken and unable to produce life?
Have you been in this place too, when God doesn’t answer your prayer as you hope?
I am sure you have been. Each one of us has situations when the answer to the prayer does not line with our hopes and expectations.
Despite all our prayers and pleading with God, there is no solution to the problem.
The illness remains.
The dream dies.
The relationship deteriorates.
A loved one dies.
What do we do then?
How are we to remain strong when God doesn’t answer our prayers and continue trusting Him?
That afternoon when my hopes to be a mother died, I came home and listened to the song by Twila Paris “Do I Trust You, Lord”. I listened and cried. And listened and cried even more while uttering the words of the song. This was my song, my question, my confession, and my prayer for that moment. There was my way out and the solution. Do I want to trust God further if I don’t understand and I am shaken to my core?
I needed to choose that day and in the many days that follow to put my hope unto the Lord Himself, unto His unfathomable wisdom and His goodness, and not in a favorable circumstance or the result I hoped for.
I needed to declare with the Psalmist: “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:13-14 NIV)
A further step that helped me to remain strong in my faith was to release my disappointment and accept the situation and God’s will. Acceptance is a process, and it took some time. In the end, I could make peace with the situation and this brought peace to my heart, too.
During this process of acceptance, the biblical discipline of lament helped me a lot. God urged me gently to pour out my heart to Him and let all the suppressed pain out, lamenting in His embrace. I felt prompted to write the story of my life from the beginning–all the disappointments, unfilled expectations, and everything that went wrong. I surrendered my life again–on a new and deeper level.
I needed to change my perspective and see the situation not as some kind of punishment, but as an invitation and an open door. It was an opportunity to experience His healing in the most vulnerable and wounded places in my heart.
This was God’s invitation to draw near to Him, to pull closer and shoot deeper roots in His love and acceptance.
I just needed to hold on and believe in His promise of restoration like this one:
“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli.” (Isaiah 54:11 NIV)
God does not minimize our affliction and sorrow. Acknowledging our suffering, His Word gives us a powerful promise for rebuilding, beauty, and strength.
So, we can remain strong even when God doesn’t answer our prayers as we hope for because He is always at work to perfect and mature us for His glory. He has our best interests in mind, and it is always safe to trust His heart.
God didn’t answer my prayer for a child, but He performed a life-saving operation on my heart instead. He replaced the heartbreak with a healthier and stronger heart, bursting with a new life, new dreams, and new hope.
Hadassah Treu is an international Christian author, blogger, and poet, the Encouraging Blogger Award Winner of 2020. She is passionate about encouraging people on the journey of faith and a deeper walk with God. Hadassah is a contributing author to several faith-based platforms and award-winning devotional and poetry anthologies. She is a COMPEL Proverbs 31 Blog writer, Freelancing Community Group leader, and Blogger Voices Network contributor. Hadassah has been featured on (In)courage, Proverbs 31 Ministries, Her View From Home, Living by Design Ministries, Thoughts About God, Today’s Christian Living, and other popular sites. You can connect with Hadassah on her blog https://onthewaybg.com, and on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Hadassah’s offers a great e-book: Are you weighed down by disappointment and discouragement? Do you want to change and transform the way you think about your disappointments? This e-book dives deeper into the topic. You will learn about the role of our expectations, desires, rights, and needs, as well as the role of false beliefs, and will find out biblical steps to overcome disappointment and discouragement. Click here to get it into your e-mail box today!
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