When Our Prayers Aren’t Answered…

“Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, ‘Arise and eat.’ Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, ‘Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.’ So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.”

1 Kings 19:5-8

Ponder This

We often thank God for answered prayer. But have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayer? We should. Wouldn’t we be in trouble if God always answered our prayers as we asked? In 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah asked God to take his life, but God answered better than Elijah asked. Romans 8:26 reminds us, “For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Hallelujah! God doesn't always give us what we want; He gives us what we need. What a great God we have. And God knew Elijah and what he was made of. God did not make the mistake many of us do. God did not mistake the moment for the man. God recognized Elijah was in a fit of depression. He gave Elijah rest and renewed his strength.

  • When have you asked for something that God was kind not to answer?
  • How do moments like this help you trust God more?

Practice This

Make a list of unanswered prayers that have been blessings in your life. Thank God for His control of all things and for His wisdom to know exactly what you need.

Related Resources

A Prayer for America Booklet

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