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When It Looks Like God Isn’t Answering Your Prayer

When the third guy I was absolutely, positively sure I was going to marry walked down the aisle with someone else, I finally felt fully justified in turning my clenched fists upward to God. Not only was I heartbroken, disappointed and actively chiseling the account into my personal journal, but I was downright dumbfounded.

Why, Lord, when I am praying for a godly husband, would you send along someone who seems to fit the bill if the relationship was destined to end in disaster? Why are you punishing me? You promised that whatever I ask in prayer, believing I have received it, would be mine. (Mark 11:24) Well, I have asked, Lord. And I have believed so hard that I practically grew a diamond on my left ring finger. Why then, have I not received what is presumably mine? And one other thing: Why does the devastating disillusionment have to be so personally humiliating–so much so that at times, I have been too embarrassed to even tell anyone about it.

It took many years and a concerted effort to pay attention to what was happening in my life to realize God had been dropping me breadcrumbs all along regarding the “why” in my waiting. But since I wasn’t connecting the dots very well, one day, the Lord caused me to see my situation from a whole new perspective–His perspective. Watch this video to see what happened:

As you see, while I wasted time thinking God was simply ignoring my prayer requests, the truth was He was busy showing me a great “barrier to entry” into what I said I wanted. By “barrier to entry,” I don’t mean something that would have hindered God’s ability to deliver, because He is all-powerful. I’m talking about weak points in my character–things that were present in my life which would have made receiving what I said I wanted a veritable nightmare. 

How would I give my all in a relationship with an imperfect man if I was unwilling to give my all to the King of kings who was complete, perfect and already committed to me? I never had the notion that God expected perfection from me, but I was keenly aware of holes in my relationship with Him that needed attention I had not given them. And rather than give me godly, tall, dark and handsome with a diamond ring in his pocket that day, (knowing I would end up whining about the state of my marriage), God chose to first show me personal areas I could work on with Him that would help me have the kind of marriage I wanted.

So, when it seems like God is not answering your heartfelt prayers, take a closer look at what has been happening in your life–identify and write down the last few struggles and resolutions you’ve had, your takeaways from your time in prayer, Bible reading or recent sermons you’ve heard, the twists, snares and realities of your current life circumstances, etc. Then, prayerfully ask God to help you connect the dots. Write down what comes to mind. Next, you’ll want to brace yourself for a great, big change in your perspective that you may not have ever had before. 

Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin helps Christian women transform their lives through the perspective-shifting power of story.

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