Are You Thankful for Unanswered Prayers?

It is not always easy to thank the Lord for unanswered prayers, but praise the Lord…if we wait on Him… He always answers our prayers with what is best for our lives.

Lamentations 3:21-25 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

I read a story of a missionary who was visiting a church in India and they were taking a special offering during harvest time. One elderly widow came with a very large offering of rice. This was a larger offering to give than for someone in her situation. The missionary asked if she was making the gift as a thanks offering for something special that had happened in her life. “Yes,” replied the woman. “My son was sick, and I promised a large gift to God if he got well.” “And did your son has recover?” asked the preacher. The widow replied, “No…although he died last week, I know that he is in God’s care…and it’s for that I am especially thankful.”

We all have times in our lives when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we expect Him to answer them. I love the missionary story of Amy Carmichael. She prayed for blue eyes when she was a child. She woke up and her eyes were still brown. The next morning, she cried to her mother, “I thought you said God would answer my prayers.” Her mother explained to her, “God does answer…He answers three ways…yes, no, or not at this time.” Years later Amy went to the field of India as a missionary. When she saw Indian children being mistreated, she disguised herself as an Indian and went into the heathen temples to rescue them. Years later, one of Amy’s friends shared with her, “It’s a good thing your eyes were brown…you look just like an Indian.”

God always knows what is best for His children. His faithfulness, love, mercy, and compassion never change. Next time you feel like complaining when you don’t get your prayers answered like you wanted them answered…thank the Lord for constantly guarding and enriching your lives and giving you exactly what He thought you needed.

Because our Lord has perfect knowledge, perfect power, and perfect love, we can count on Him to know what is best for our lives. May our prayer be this Thanksgiving, “Father, thank You for Your love and compassion. Thank You for not always giving me what I asked for…but you always give me what is best for my life.”