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3 things to do when God isn’t answering


Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Prayer is an important part of a Christian’s life. It is how we communicate with God. He tells us to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). But what’s going on when we pray and it seems like we are not getting answers? What do we do then?

From the time I was a young girl I developed a love of praying. I learned early from the Bible that God promises He will hear and answer when we call upon Him. Over the years I have realized even more that prayer is an important part of our relationship with God. He speaks to us through His word and we respond to Him in prayer.

Numerous times throughout my life I have received wisdom, provision, and encouragement as I have talked things over with God and responded to His word. But there have also been times when the days, months, and years have melted away without a definitive answer. It is easy on these occasions to begin to second guess ourselves and maybe even doubt God Himself. But this is where our faith must really shine.

Paul, in the book of Romans, reminds his readers to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. We can be joyful when we remember that God always keeps His word. [He] is not a man, that He should lie … . Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good” (Numbers 23:19)? If He has promised to hear and answer, then He will do so in His perfect timing. We can count on it!

Paul also reminds us to be patient in affliction. The Bible is clear that we will have difficult experiences. That is a given! But God does not waste these trials. He uses them to test our faith and this produces perseverance. When perseverance finishes its work we will be mature and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4).

Finally, Paul exhorts us to be faithful in prayer. Even when we don’t see immediate answers, we can rely on God’s integrity. Just because we don’t see Him does not mean He is not there. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much, and in His perfect timing He will show up in power.

This past week I had an experience that illustrated this truth to me. While visiting some friends in the state of Oregon, they told us there were some incredible ice-capped mountains visible from their living room windows. But when we arrived the sky was overcast, and we couldn’t see them. They were hidden in the clouds. Every morning, I woke up and checked the skyline, but still there was nothing. Some might have doubted whether my friends were telling the truth, but I knew they wouldn’t lie.

On the final morning of our stay, I awoke to a clear sky with an impressive view of mountain grandeur. Even though the massive mountains were hidden throughout the previous days, the peaks were there all the time.

It is the same with God. If you have been seeking Him for many days and wondering if He will ever show up, stay joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. Soon the clouds will rise and expose the truth. He has been there all the time waiting for the right moment to reveal His perfect and powerful answers.



Sandra Sheridan is a midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at www.VersesFromMama.com.