Dear Dr. B,
I’ve prayed and prayed to God. Why does He choose not to answer?
Upset and Unanswered
I understand your frustration. In my own experiences, I have learned that God answers our prayers, although the answer may not come the way we were expecting or in the timeframe we anticipated. But, in His perfect timing, the answer comes.
If we want Him to answer in a specific way, we limit Him and may not recognize the answer and may interpret the answer we miss as an unanswered prayer.
Scripture is clear that God hears and answers prayer.
In Psalm 65:1-2 NLT, “What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers.” And, “you faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth,” in verse 5.
He hears us before we even call to Him. “I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!” (Isaiah 65:24 NLT)
Scripture instructs us to pray. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Jesus, our perfect role model, spent much time in prayer with the Father. “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” (Hebrews 5:7)
What do God’s answers look like?
Sometimes he answers “Yes.” We can usually identify when He answers with a yes. That answer may come the way we expected or as an immediate answer. We rejoice because we know He heard us. Our faith and confidence grows.
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)
When the answer is “Not Yet”, we are tempted to give up and stop praying. Don’t allow discouragement to stop you from praying. Trust Him with your request and trust His timing. We know that He has a master plan and works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (see Romans 8:28).
In Luke 18:1-5, Jesus taught. “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.
And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
Sometimes, the answer is No. In hindsight, I am thankful for many prayers that were answered with a “no.” Now I can see that God protected me from what I wanted that I “thought” was good for me.
The answers to your prayers may not line up with your own thinking, but He always answers.
Will you trust Him today to answer your prayers in ways you do not expect? In ways that are best for you?
Because of Him, Hope Prevails,
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.