In the 90s, country singer, Garth Brooks sang a song called ‘Unanswered Prayers’. In the story of the song, the main character runs into his old high school sweetheart at a high school football game.
He had since moved on and married, but he begins to think about what had transpired back in the day. Apparently, when he had dated this girl, he had prayed that “God would make her mine.”
God’s unexpected gift
As he searched though the memories and tried to think of the good times, it turned out that she wasn’t as perfect as he thought. He began to relish in the fact that he had made a good choice by marrying his wife and not his old high school flame. Then, he breaks into the chorus with this declaration:
“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talking to
the man upstairs
That just because He may not answer,
doesn’t mean He don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are
Many of you can relate to the words of that song. Maybe you prayed that a certain person would be your lifelong partner and it did not work out, and now that you look back on it, you can see that God knew what He was doing.
The answer to your prayer
Firstly there is no such thing as unanswered prayer. Sometimes the answer is ‘yes!’ Sometimes the answer is ‘no!’ And sometimes the answer is ‘wait’. Just as parents desire to meet the needs of their children and give them what is the very best for them, so our Heavenly Father delights in answering our prayers. Our Lord Jesus said, “ So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.” Matt 7:11.
Our all-wise Father
When the answer is, ‘yes!’ We rejoice that our Heavenly Father is blessing us with good things. As parents we may foolishly indulge our children and give them things that do not really benefit them. But God is the all-wise Father. He will only give us that which is to our advantage. “The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Psalm 84:11.
Sometimes He delays the answer because His timing is different to ours and He delays the answer in order for His purposes to be fulfilled. And sometimes He delays or denies a request because He has a greater blessing waiting for us. Many times we are like little children wanting to have some cheap toy right now. Like a good parent, our Heavenly Father does not give us what we want at that time because He has something even better planned for us.
A glorious result
Whatever the answer, you can be sure that God loves you and wants the very best for you. No matter how disappointing the answer may be to us at the time all things are working out for good. In the long run we can be assured that it will be for the very best result to help us grow and make us more like Christ. Sometimes the process is long and hard but the end result is glorious.
As we read in the book of Proverbs, “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.” Prov 4:18.
Nico Bougas is the International Coordinator of Hellenic Ministries. firstname.lastname@example.org or wwwhellenicministries.com