Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 English Standard Version (ESV)



I’m learning to rejoice when God answers my prayer with giving me a no.  You see that no might go against my request, but it is likely because it is not for my good is the reason that He doesn’t grant it.  This makes me feel safe.  In fact, I am growing to enjoy His no as much as His yes.   But it has taken some time and experience with Him to prove it, and come to enjoy it.


Several years ago, Garth Brooks had a song named “Unanswered Prayers.”  The premise behind it was he saw an old girlfriend at a class reunion and he remembered that “each night I’d spend time praying that God would make her mine.”  Well God didn’t answer that prayer and instead gave him the love of his life with his wife.  At this point the chorus of the song takes over and he sings …


“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers …”


Another stanza is sung that makes a great point that I want to park on.  Here are the words”


“just because He doesn’t answer doesn’t mean He doesn’t care.”


I’ve been blessed by many such “revisits” in life and I can speak from experience.  I have experienced these truths about God and my prayer requests.  Here goes:


“God is good.  God wants good for me.  God has a plan for me.  His plan is good for me.  When it comes down to it, I don’t want what I want for me.  I want what He wants for me.  That is why I love God’s no to me, and I thank God for unanswered prayers.”


I will be seventy-three in a few days.  I could have never designed my life to be as joyful and fulfilling as the life I’ve been given.  I am truly experiencing the desires of my heart, of which I am deeply grateful.  However, there were many disappointments and broken dreams that crashed around me along the way.  Even so I hung on to the hope that God has a plan, and His plan is good.  I would be challenged with this belief and hope many times.  A door would be painfully shut in my face as If God did not care, or did not hear me, or He was uninvolved with my life and needs.  But for every closed door an open door was given to me.  Some of those open doors represented the very thing I did not want.  But because God opened it, there was always something good that was on the other side, and there was always a plan at work that would lead to better things.  I had to patiently wait it out or adjust my life in some way.  But it always turned out for good, though it didn’t give me what I wanted at the time.  My experience has shown me that though it was not what I “thought” I wanted, it turned out that it became what I deep down wanted and needed, but didn’t know how to secure it.


Garth has one more stanza in the song that is a good one to cause us to remember that God is good, and He has a good plan for us.  It says:


“Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.”


In the passage above we see the Apostle Paul sharing his belief about prayer and God.  He said that God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.”  Now that is a tall order for some of us, for we often ask for a lot of things that we do not get, and honestly, but can’t know how something could wreck our life if we got it.  But God knows, and He cares about what He know about us, and that is why He wants to do better for us than we can even ask or do for our self.


Now this is the big question:  Are you willing to trust God and allow Him to do what is best for you rather than what you think is best for you?  If so change your prayers.  Prayer more for others and less for yourself.  Ask for others more than you ask for yourself.  Lay it out there and say to God, “Lord You choose the path for me and I will gladly walk it.”  If you will do this, He will walk you to the desires of your heart, while giving you a new heart.  This path will require radical trust.  Many if not most people do not have the courage to lay their life out there before the Lord like this.  But for those who do they will have a story about their journey with God.  We will always say, “He led me to the desires of my heart, and I thank Him He would not allow me to go in the wrong direction.  I thank Him for unanswered prayers, for it show me that He cares.”


One comment on “I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers

  • Rocky , Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and your loving heart for the Lord.
    Thank you so much for helping me understand more about my Heavenly Father.

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