Understanding Unanswered Prayers
When it comes to praying, there are a lot of misconceptions out there, and finding the right information can often be challenging. When you pray, particularly when it’s for something specific, it can be a little disheartening when it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped.
In this article, we are going to explore a wide range of prayer topics. We’ll take a look at unanswered prayers (and why unanswered prayers aren’t automatically a bad thing), we’ll touch upon what the Bible has to say about such matters, and we’ll take a look at some general advice for praying.
Table of Contents
- What is Praying?
- Praying to Angels vs Praying to God
- God’s Plan
- Unanswered Prayers
- Motivations behind Praying
- What does the Bible say?
- Patience and Trust
- Advice on Praying
What is Praying?
Before we delve into answering a question related to unanswered prayers, we have to first come to terms with what praying actually is. There are various schools of thought on the matter which is why we need to discuss it.
Some people view praying as being similar to speaking into a microphone with God being the one who is listening, other people view praying as being like a spiritual message that you send through the universe.
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There is nothing at all wrong with viewing praying in this way but there is a more accurate description. Everything in the universe is made up of vibrational energy. I am, you are, the screen you’re reading right now is the stars, the planets, the fabric of space…everything.
Our energy interacts with the energy around us so our positive energy can interact positively with other people and certain things, just as the same can happen with negative energy.
When we pray, we are sending certain vibrations out into the fabric of the universe, through the physical world, and even into the spiritual world. Ultimately, no matter how you view it, the outcome is still the same.
Praying to Angels vs Praying to God
Another area we have to quickly touch on is the difference between praying to angels and praying to God. Unanswered prayers are typically more of a “problem” when people are trying to communicate directly with God.
It’s important that we remember that our angels are there as well and sometimes it is better to reach out to them than it is to reach out to God. Angels can provide us with guidance, direction, spiritual energy, and comfort.
Before praying, you should consider who your prayer should be directed to. Let’s take a look at an example. Imagine that you’re nervous because you have an exam coming up but you’ve started to fall ill and it’s interfering with your work.
Your first thought may be to pray to God but similarly, you could pray to the Archangel Raphael and ask him to shine his white, healing energy down upon you.
Similarly, you may wish to pray for strength and so you might turn to Archangel Michael. Remember that God chose all of these angels. They aren’t there by accident, which leads us nicely to our next point: God’s plan.
When it comes to unanswered prayers, people are quick to blame themselves or blame God but they might have forgotten about the bigger picture. God exists beyond time and space.
He knows everything and sees everything, even events that won’t happen for another million years. As such, he has a plan and he nudges the universe in order to keep everything heading towards that plan.
Sometimes he will send angels to relay messages, sometimes he will visit people himself, and sometimes he will cause natural disasters, or create miracles.
However, nothing happens that isn’t within his great plan and that includes prayers (and unanswered prayers). Let’s consider for a moment the impact that seemingly small changes can make. We’ll start with something simple.
Imagine that you’re struggling financially and so you pray to God for a lottery win (we’ll discuss prayers like this in more detail soon). He could help you…but what happens if he doesn’t?
Well, maybe pushing through the tough times makes you a stronger person and you go on to become a business owner or a spiritual leader or a scientist or teacher.
That lottery win could be the difference between the world having another remarkable individual and not.
We can now focus on the overall topic of this article: unanswered prayers. It’s quite likely that you’ve had at least one unanswered prayer in your life.
It might have been something slightly more trivial such as praying for your football team to win, or it might have been a more desperate prayer such as praying for the recovery of a loved one.
We’ve already touched on one of the reasons why unanswered prayers can happen but there are other reasons.
We only need to look as far as the Holy Book itself to find such answers:
James 4:2-3 states:
You desire but do not have, so you kill.
You covet but you cannot get what you want,
so you quarrel and fight.
You do not have because you do not ask God.
When you ask, you do not receive,
because you ask with wrong motives,
that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
There are two aspects of this worth mentioning: if you don’t ask, you won’t receive. If you are here looking for information on unanswered prayers then we can assume that you’ve asked. So what were your motivations behind the prayer?
Motivations behind Praying
It’s important to remember that praying isn’t a form of wish fulfillment. You don’t rub a lamp before praying, you haven’t caught a leprechaun. Praying is a deeply spiritual and personal act that should demonstrate your ability to rise above selfish desires and acts.
Consider these two prayers: a person praying for money so they can buy a new car, and a person praying for money so that they can cover the medical bills of a family member. As you can see, the motivations behind the same prayer can be vastly different and also important.
That’s not to say that you can’t pray for things related solely to you. The distinction is motivation. Are you praying for yourself because you need help or are you praying because you want something? The difference between needing and wanting is also important.
If your unanswered prayers had poor motivations then you may be beginning to understand why they weren’t answered. Unfortunately, interacting with God’s plan and poor motivations are only a few of the reasons that prayers can be unanswered.
What does the Bible say?
We can also look at unanswered prayers Bible examples for further explanations:
John 9:31 states that :
We know that God does not hear sinners;
This suggests that if you’re praying to God while ignoring his commandments then he may choose to ignore you.
Proverbs 21:13 states that:
He, who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor,
will also cry himself and not be answered.
Again, we can see the obvious meaning behind this passage. If you do nothing for those who ask for your help then why should higher beings help you?
These are just a few examples of many but they give you a sense of some of the other reasons that unanswered prayers can happen.
Patience and Trust
Before you give up hope, consider two things: have you given the prayer enough time to become reality? Do you trust the being that you’re praying to (whether it is angels, God, or something else)?
You can’t expect prayers to take effect immediately. Consider if your prayer requires immediate effect or whether it is something that could appear gradually.
If it is something that could happen over time then perhaps you just haven’t been patient enough. It’s also important to note that if you trust God then he knows what is best for you, whether you realize it or not.
Advice on Praying
We’ll end this article on unanswered prayers by rounding up the information that we’ve discussed and by turning the issues into solutions. So when it comes to praying, what do you need to consider?
First of all, you need to consider who you are praying to. Does your prayer require the attention of God or would it be better suited in the hands of angels? Once you decide that, you need to consider the motivations behind your prayer.
Are you using prayer as a form of wishing? Are you trying to get something quickly and without putting the work in? If so, you should reconsider your approach.
Finally, if your motivations are good (such as helping someone else or helping yourself in a spiritual, non-materialistic way) then you simply need to pray. Don’t expect to open your eyes and see the solution in front of you.
Instead, be patient and have faith that your prayers will be answered. If you have unanswered prayers then trust that there are good reasons as to why this is the case.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs that may relate to your prayers such as the appearance of an angel number or feather.