When Prayers Are Not Answered

We pray and plead and hope and trust, yet nothing happens.

Or does it?

We set our sights on the answer, and only the answer we desire.

What if it’s not that simple?

What if there is more going on than a transaction?

Imagine a child-parent relationship based on transactions? The child says to the parent, “I will ask you for things. you take care of them and I will thank you.”

I don’t want the parent or child side of that relationship. Sadly, I think we often approach our faith this way and we miss the depth of an authentic relationship with the Father.

He promises us:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Instead of focusing on questions surrounding unanswered prayer, maybe we need to look for Him in the midst of our trial. He promised not to leave us, so He IS there…but where? Where is He revealing His love to us? A song, a smile, a sigh of relief?

He is there, He is here. Look for Him and let Him love you in the quiet moments and raging chaos. Answered prayer encompasses much more than checked boxes. It is about healing the parts of us we didn’t know were broken and revealing the loneliness inside. It is letting God love us and noticing when He does.

Don’t let “unanswered prayers” distract you. Transactions are empty, relationship fills the deepest part of us that longs to know Him and be known by Him.

Prayers Spoken, Lives Changes {Guest Post}

A guest post…

Jen Bio BW Cropped jpg

Jennifer White is the author of the forthcoming book, Prayers for New Brides: Putting on the Armor After the Wedding Dress. She blogs at Prayerfully Speaking where she shares Hope from the truth of God’s Word. Today Jennifer encourages us to praise God before we see the breakthrough we desire. This post is an excerpt from her free ebook, Prayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love for 18 Ordinary People.



It was a bucket list moment for me. I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Brooklyn Tabernacle for a Tuesday night prayer service. The experience was so powerful: the music, the people, the testimonies of answered prayer, and the message. Pastor Cymbala, whose books have helped to shape my prayer life, taught from Psalms 67:

 Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us,
And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

I was thrilled to learn from God’s Word the order of events that leads to breakthrough. WOW. Have you seen this before? Praise comes first. God gets acknowledged first. We set our hearts on Him, Who He is, What He can do – and THEN – the earth yields its increase. The italics in the verse are not my own, but straight from the NKJV.

Praise before Breakthrough

I searched the internet for the phrase, “praise before the breakthrough” to see what others had to say about this topic and found a fabulous teaching by Phil Morgan at Sermon Central. Phil explains the concept of praise very well here:

 “So when the Bible tells us to “Praise” Him, it’s calling us to give vent to our adoring heart. Worship can be silent, but praise NEVER is.”

In his sermon, Phil taught me these amazing truths about praising God. I’m so excited to share them with you today.

Praise Secures God’s Presence

2 Chronicles 5:13-14

“when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking  the Lord ….. the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.”

Psalm 22:3

“But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel”

 Praise Secures Victory

2 Chronicles 20:15-22

“as they went out before the army, saying, Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!”

Psalm 149:6-9

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand,…”

Praise Secures an Unburdening

Isaiah 61:3

“…The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness….”

 Praise Secures Release

Acts 16:25-26

“at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

All Eyes on Him

I’ve spent too many decades struggling to change myself. Can you relate to that? My failure to do so left me angry and led to self-loathing. All ME focused, right? What a lie from the pit of hell – thinking that I am not at God’s mercy to become a new creation.

Cymbala and Morgan’s sermons remind me that I am called to keep my mind on God and all He is and can do. He is worthy to be praised. His power is incomparable. His love for you and me is unlimited. I will choose to focus on Him! Will you join me?

We can praise Him together, in the comment section below. I’ll go first, but don’t leave me hanging friend! Put feet to this and make it your truth.

Grab your copy of Jennifer’s free ebook, Prayers Spoken, Lives Changed: God’s Extraordinary Love for 18 Ordinary People. With it you will get a subscription to her bimonthly newsletter to boost your faith that #GodAnswers prayer.

jennifer white

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