Inner Workout: For when your prayers aren’t answered

When we don’t get

what we think we want,

it’s time to dig deep

and find the Source

of awe and patience


The Truth is hard and beautiful,

worth infinitely more

than your time.

He’s crafting something better than you can even imagine

right now.

When will your heart

be open enough to receive it?

Unanswered prayers can rock our faith.

We’ve all heard Jesus’ words “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened…”

So how are we supposed to feel when challenges like betrayal, job loss, illness and grief sneak up on us? How can we keep our faith when our hearfelt prayers seem to go unanswered?

If you aren’t getting what you want from God right now, I encourage you to to ask yourself the following questions, preferably in a journal so you can really dig into your soul and reflect:

1. Deep down, what do you want even more than what you’re praying for and not receiving right now?

At the deepest level of our soul, we want what God wants. Often, our prayers are reflections of our broken humanity, rather than our true heart and soul desire for living in alignment with His perfect love. If we can look at unanswered prayers from a deeper perspective, we can let go of our superficial ideas about life and open up to the Divine plan.

Often, we’re praying for one thing we think we need kind of like kids begging their parents for the newest gadget, but deep we’re down longing for something more deeply in alignment with God’s will. When God says no, it’s only because He has something better planned, which will be more soul satisfying in the long run.

When we take time to process our emotions around unanswered prayers, we can uncover our deeper intentionality, along with any limiting beliefs we may be carrying. Through this inner work, can realize “the peace that defies understanding” and find the strength to persevere in faith until God reveals the blessings He has for you.

For example: Even more than wanting a particular relationship to work out, deep down we may long to experience a more authentic and truly loving partnership that isn’t possible with this particular person we’re struggling with.

A tougher example: Even more than our loved one to be with us on earth, deep down we may want to know they are blissfully waiting for us in heaven and with us in spirit always, drawing us deeper into faith.

Ultimately, the BEST prayer is “thy will be done,” but we can only say that prayer wholeheartedly when we truly believe deep down that Our Creator wills the very best for us. Processing emotions around unanswered prayers can help us get to that place of deep faith and trust.

2. In the eyes of Your Heavenly Creator, what’s even more valuable than what you’re not receiving right now?

We’re made in the image and likeness of God, who values characteristics like generosity, love, perseverence, gentleness, honesty and integrity. Often when our prayers aren’t answered the way we want, we are given opportunities to cultivate these priceless characteristics.

For example, during an extended illness, we can cultivate deeper compassion and empathy for those, who are suffering along with a deeper spirituality.

An even tougher example: after a betrayal of trust, we can choose to become impeccibly gentle, forgiving and honest towards others – never wanting to hurt anyone the way we’ve been hurt.

Ultimately if we are willing to dig deep in our faith, unanswered prayers can cause our human nature to be more reflective of the Divine Nature. When we persist in prayer through trials, we can trust that God is working on our behalf to fortify our character to be more reflective of His perfect love.

What unanswered prayer are you grappling with right now? How is your faith holding up, in light of this struggle? Comment below, and I’ll be delighted to provide encouragement and keep you in my prayers.  

God, help us to trust You fully, even when our prayers aren’t being answered in the way we would like. Give us the grace to believe in Your goodness and help us to do the deep inner work of paving a path for your Divine Will to be made manifest in our lives through good times and bad. Open our hearts and purify our intentions, so we can shine Your light in the world more brilliantly than we’ve ever imagined. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen


written by Nicky Gant for 9/9/2018

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