The Value of Unanswered Prayers

value-of-unanswered-prayers

 

It’s important for me to make sure my kids understand that God doesn’t work like a genie or fairy godmother. In the movies, you get what you wish for and it usually results in happily ever after. Sometimes a movie will teach you the lesson of “be careful what you wish for,” but this message can be rare and very much sugar-coated.

God is not a genie and prayers are not about getting what we want. Prayer is our chance to converse with God. It is the basis of our relationship. In this relationship, God knows what’s best for me and for His Kingdom.

I understand how prayer works, but I like to be in control. And my kids have similar personalities, so I feel even more responsible for teaching them this truth:

We are NOT in control and there is value in the experience of not getting what we want.

I should first clarify that I’m not even sure there is such a thing as unanswered prayers. I think God answers all prayers in His own perfect way. We are the ones who see our requests as unanswered and the lessons to be found in those unanswered prayers are numerous. Lessons of trust, God’s sovereignty, faith.

With myself and my children, I’m choosing to focus on this lesson:

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. -Romans 8:28

When we’ve prayed through a situation and we don’t see what we want to see, we must come back to this: God is good and He is working all things together for good in our lives. His unanswered prayers are for good reasons, Kingdom reasons.

We don’t see the whole picture, so we can’t know what is best. I shudder to think what could have happened if God answered every prayer I ever prayed in the way I thought He should answer them.

Recently, we had a big move planned. We were completely convinced this was exactly what God wanted for our family. We were looking at houses, touring schools, and making the necessary heart adjustments to prepare ourselves. In the middle of all of this, we were thrown a major curveball. We prayed and prayed for God to work a miracle in the situation so we could go forward with the move. We didn’t get what we asked for. We had to stop chasing the dream of moving and it was painful. We were all so confused.

But God.

Even in the midst of the hurt, He started to show His good plan. Relationships in our current location were deepened. New opportunities arose right where we were. The perfect job was offered to my husband. These were all answers to our prayers, but so very different from our thoughts and plans.

Walking through this life change with our children was an experience in grace and trust. They felt the same emotional rollercoaster we did, but we were always able to point back to God’s goodness. While I dont wish to go through it all over again, our unanswered prayers have given way to growth and faith like never before. And that is an answer to prayer.

How do you help your kids understand when their prayers are not answered how they expected? Have you seen good come from these experiences or are you still waiting to see His plan?

 


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In Volume 11 “Spreading The Good News!”, Phil Vischer helps kids understand that while we sometimes hurt, it’s because the Kingdom of God isn’t here yet…but it’s coming! And we have hope that a world without hurt is coming. God has a plan to make all the bad things go away and to heal what is broken. Learn all about the Book of Acts in volume 11.

 

 

 


Erin MohringErin Mohring enjoys life in Nebraska with her husband of 12 years and their three boys, as well as reading, running, and movie nights with her guys. She writes at Home with the Boys and is the co-founder of Raising Boys Ministries.

 

 

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122 comments
Uche Chris
Uche Chris

That's natural,to God Almighty be the Glory Amen

Susie Amos
Susie Amos

Sheri Stewart we tell our kids this!

Betty Lumsden
Betty Lumsden

Oh those words are truth Amen thank you father.

Elvis Chioza
Elvis Chioza

that's pure truth not objective , thank god .

Sam Haddock
Sam Haddock

My prayers are for others, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors and anyone with need of healing or comfort or courage. I try not to pray for myself, God already knows my desires in my heart, and when I pray for others and tithe, my menial wants and desires are granted. Praise the Lord that He blesses me with opportunites and things He knew of before I even prayed. Sure, I have wants, but I just ask in prayer "Oh Lord, You know my wants, You know my needs, and if it's Your will to bless me with these wants and needs, than I will Praise Your Holy Name".

Lucas Makhema
Lucas Makhema

Prayers r for what we want, when I want something I Pray over it & God always answer me with what I really need.u must start believing if u lost faith in God,Amen.

Sunday Adelaja
Sunday Adelaja

If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.(Numbers 30: 2) HAPPY SUNDAY ALL.

Sam Haddock
Sam Haddock

Those who doin't believe in prayer should read this. I admit that I used to feel the same way, but my heart changed when I realized that the blessing was in saying the prayer and not in the response "that I wanted" to prayer. Paise be to Jesusl I get it now. In all I do, I ask for God's guidance and courage to accept whatever the outcome. That is a way I have come to accept answers to all prayers.

Jessica Godfrey Gillen
Jessica Godfrey Gillen

There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. Just sometimes the answer is NO.

Jeffreel Concepcion
Jeffreel Concepcion

Yes, it's true that we are sometimes, getting angry and blame God whenever we had an unanswered prayers. We act as if we are the only person who suffer it. We act as if we're just so empty that we never had the chance to bring something or someone in our life. However, when we see things as frustration, we will probably be settled with frustration. But when we see things as colorful matter, our life will get easier and happier. As for unanswered prayers, God has given us these to challenge us whether we can get up to challenges or not. He use this prayers to bring out our stronger inner so that we will be able to reconcile with the incessant flow of emotions in life. God gives color to our lives in different ways. Trust Him. Glory to God.

Amii Esther
Amii Esther

I do Believe it,cause Jesus be with Us while we are being prayer.GBU.

Cheryl Jensen
Cheryl Jensen

God answers with yes, no ir wait....not ignoring us.

Heather Townsend
Heather Townsend

They're answered, some are just yes, and some are no. When it's no, we naturally assume it was unanswered.

Janice Gritton Cocanougher
Janice Gritton Cocanougher

I don't believe in unanswered prayer. I think we only look for the answers we want and don't always recognize what He is saying to us. But I do believe that answers all our prayers.

hmdavis02
hmdavis02

How incredibly interesting... In my morning prayer time, I had this thought exactly even including the genie metaphor!  Well said!