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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Unanswered Prayers Or "Thy Will Be Done"

We do not know how many prayers have been prayed over the course of human history.

We do not know how many prayers have been answered like the person praying requested.

We do not know how many prayers have not been answered like the person praying requested.

We do not know how to make God answer our prayers like we want them answered.

We do not know how many prayers have been answered in some other fashion than the way requested.

We do not know…

We do not know…

We do not know…

However, some of us will keep on praying until we take our last breath. We will keep on praying until we take our last breath because some of us are people of faith. Some of us know God hears us, we know God loves us, and we know God responds to our prayers. Some of us are not so concerned about getting God to do what we want…we are concerned about taking needs and burdens of others to God so His will shall be done in whatever way He chooses.

The question remains…why doesn’t God answer my prayers like I want them answered?

If we are brutally honest, this question is full of ego and selfishness. No matter how unselfish and divine a person may be, wanting or even demanding God answer a prayer like we want the prayer answered has in the demand a terrible element of selfishness.

Yet, the question remains…why doesn’t God answer my prayers like I want them answered?

Ministers and other godly people often have knee jerk reactions to this question. This question is asked by millions of people in a sincere manner. Millions of other people may not ask the question outwardly but the question lingers around in the back of their mind. Too often, the people who ask this question feel guilty because the question implies a doubt of faith, or a questioning of God’s judgment. One of the favorite responses of the clergy to this question is "God said 'No' to the prayer request." However, this "God said 'No'" answer is not a good or appropriate answer because the question being asked is "Why doesn’t God answer my prayers like I want them answered?"

There are billions of trillions of answers why God does not answer our prayers like we want them answered. We will try to give one answer to this tough question with a story. This story is only illustrative of one reason among infinite numbers of reasons why God answers or does not answer our prayers like we want. Above all else, we must remember God does have reasons why every prayer is answered or not answered like we want.

Expect A Miracle

A little girl named Josey, at the age of 11, was riding in the car with her mother. Josey and her mother were involved in a terrible auto accident. Both Josey and her mother were terribly injured. Josey was paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of her life. Josey’s mother died three months after the accident due to complications from the mother's injuries. Josey was devastated and remained in a state of mourning and shock for months. One day Josey heard a TV evangelist utter the phrase, “Expect A Miracle!” The phrase kept going through Josey’s mind and she thought more about what expecting a miracle meant. As time moved on, Josey prayed God would heal her paralysis and let her walk and run again. She fully expected God to miraculously restore her body. Everywhere Josey went in her wheelchair Josey told others to “Expect A Miracle.” Unfortunately, Josey’s prayers for physical healing went unanswered in Josey’s earthly life. Josey lived to the age of 52 when God called her home to be with Him in Heaven.

When Josey’s spirit left her body at the time of her bodily death, Josey didn’t just slowly float away from her earthly body. She zoomed out. Josey zoomed out of her body so fast the angels who came to take her into heaven only saw a blurry flash as her spirit zoomed by. When Josey reached heaven, she was still zooming. She zoomed, and zoomed, and zoomed for what would be thousands of earth years. She never grew tired or weary. She was so full of joy at being free of the burden of her earthly body she could not contain herself. Josey just had to zoom. The people in heaven were filled with laughter as they saw her joy. God was quite amused as well. One day, while Josey was taking an infrequent break from zooming across the cosmos, God called her and they met in the golden throne room. God said to Josey He knew Josey wanted to know why her prayers were never answered when she was in her body on earth. Josey laughed at God’s mind reading ability. God told Josey to sit down and He would show her pictures from His special spiritual viewer. Josey saw thousands of people on earth with beautiful sparkly rainbow beams of light coming off them. The beams of light went from each person into the heart of God. God explained each of these people was in a state of prayer. Each of these people was praying because Josey had not been healed. Josey was puzzled at the answer because she certainly didn’t do anything on earth to make people pray. God assured Josey she had indeed done a lot to make people pray. God reminded her of her lifelong motto of “Expect A Miracle.” God said all these people, and thousands more who they touched, were influenced directly by Josey. God explained there was a greater good in Josey’s life. Although a miraculous healing would have been good for Josey, a miracle would not have produced the greater good Josey was witnessing on the viewer. God told Josey she had done more than hundreds of ministers could do in getting people to pray and be persons of faith. God explained He always takes action for the greater good, not the lesser good. Josey now understood and shook her head in amazement at the thousands of people with great prayer beams sent to heaven by them…all because of Josey. Josey told the Lord she did not know a single person she had seen in the viewer. God said Josey did not need to know them. God said these people were not typical church folk. Few of them ever went to church but their life had been opened as a result of Josey's hardship. These people had accepted Christ as their Savior because of their openness. Josey wanted to know if all unanswered prayers on earth were unanswered on earth because God could do a greater good. God said most often that is the case but not always. God reminded Josey, although her physical healing prayers were not answered on earth like she wanted while she was alive on earth, those prayers had been answered many times over when she zoomed into heaven. At the thought of zooming, Josey said to God, “Thank you Lord, I love you, my break time is over!” and Josey zoomed away.

Remember: A miracle on earth is not like a miracle in heaven.

Proverbs 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. 11Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. (NIV)

***End of story***

We have not truly answered our original question because…

We do not know…

We do not know…

We do not know…

However, some of us will keep on praying until we take our last breath. We will keep on praying until we take our last breath because some of us are people of faith. Some of us know God hears us, we know God loves us, and we know God responds to our prayers. Some of us are not so concerned about getting God to do what we want…we are concerned about taking needs and burdens of others to God so His will shall be done in whatever way He chooses. We are more concerned about our doing what God wants instead of our getting God to do what we want.

This message was presented in July 2011 as the Virtual Church message in Shepherd's Care Ministries virtual church site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Entire contents copyright © 1999 - 2010 by Rev. Patrick Kelly, All rights reserved.
All content is presented on behalf of Shepherd’s Care Ministries. Shepherd's Care Ministries reserves no right or claim upon content.

Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018