Unanswered Prayer: A Walk In Faith

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Unanswered Questions in Prayer

Ever prayed about something without ever getting an answer? I mean really prayed with fervent, desperate, soul seeking prayers? I know I have. Actually it was over a year ago, before I graduated college, that these types of prayers weren't uncommon for me. I'd plead with God to give me answers to some big life questions I had for the future. College was almost over and I needed to know where God wanted me to go next. Problem was, I either didn't hear Him at all or second guessed what it was He said if He was indeed answering those desperate prayers. Very quickly though I grew tired of asking the same questions over and over without hearing anything. I so desperately wanted an answer that I tried to force one to come. Most of the answers I "heard" from God were actually my own thoughts. This ended in deep frustration with myself and with God. I'll admit that I even became angry for His silence on these issues.

In the midst of this frustration I cried out one day and said,

"God you're going to have to drop a piano in front of me or something in order for me to hear You because I'm just not hearing Your answer at all lately!"

I needed an answer now and God was not abiding by my timeline. Didn't He know graduation was right around the corner? Didn't He see that I had to start looking for a job soon? Why wasn't He answering me? It didn't make sense. I was asking, seeking and knocking in prayer but I wasn't getting an answer. Since I really had not clue what to do or what God was up to, I decided to not make a move; that is unless He told me to. I was so afraid of making a wrong move into my future that I didn't move at all. I would wait for an answer and then move forward.

The summer came and went. No answer. I needed to find a job doing something in order to pay back student loans. (I now realize my error in borrowing money and am using Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Revisited book to get out of debt. I highly recommend it. Click Here to buy the book.) At this point in time I was still bent on not moving without God's direction. It wasn't until a wise older woman who I knew said something that got me thinking. She told me that even if I wasn't sure of what to do or where to go next, I needed to start somewhere.

God could correct my course if needed but I had to actually move forward.

So I did. I got a part time job working with children after feeling a certain peace about applying. I've been working at the same place since the beginning of the school year now. Is it where God wants me? I'm not sure. But I'm more comfortable now walking with God without clear answers in front of me.

A few months ago I was thinking about these very questions again. It had been a year and I still hadn't heard any answers to the questions I had asked. But suddenly, like a light bulb going off in my head I realized what God may have been up to.

He wants me to trust Him.

The thought wasn't like a piano dropping out of the sky; rather it was more of a quiet, gentle thought on my heart.  A peace that surpassed understanding flowed through me. It was then I remembered what God had asked Abraham to do in Genesis 12.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. Genesis 12:1 (emphasis mine)

Hebrews 11:8 in the Amplified translation puts it beautifully:

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. 
Hebrews 11:8

Isn't that awesome? Abraham didn't trouble his mind about where was to go. Talk about a lesson in faith! God didn't tell Abraham where He wanted him to go before Abraham moved forward. Abraham took the first step, while trusting God. His action, mixed with faith was what allowed Abraham to take that first step.

Walking In Faith

God wanted me to trust Him fully and to walk in faith. For some reason or another I always forget the first part of that verse: walking in faith. Walking without faith and faith without walking will get us nowhere. We need to walk by faith and have faith to walk forward. Not one without the other. As long as we walk forward in the center of God's revealed will to us through His Word, He will be faithful to steer us in the right direction.

Perhaps you are also praying for something specific in your life and haven't gotten the answer to it just yet. I want to encourage you to not lose heart. God can withhold answers for a number of reasons, all of them for our own good. He could be asking us to:

1. Trust Him 
2. Move forward in faith
3. Learn to discern His voice
4. Let go of control
5. Or we may not be ready to hear His answer quite yet

This list is by no means exhaustive but it gives us a starting point. What is it you've been struggling with? Maybe God is helping you with this by not answering a prayer right away. His purposes for not answering a prayer are always good and loving. It may feel frustrating at times but know that God has got your back. 

Where do you feel God asking you to take that first step of faith? Remember our father in the faith Abraham... God blessed this man greatly and it all began with a step of faith. 

And as for those unanswered prayers? Well, I've come to realize God actually does answer ALL of our prayers, just maybe not in the way we expect Him too. It takes faith to walk forward in the midst of uncertainty and wholehearted trust in the Lord. When His answer is "trust me and walk forward" we need to do exactly that.

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4 Responses to “Unanswered Prayer: A Walk In Faith”

  1. I have been struggling with this very same thing for almost the last year. You get paralyzed and don't want to move. thank you so much for sharing. Stopping by from Fellowship Fridays!

    1. Jennifer,
      Paralyzing is a good way to put how it feels at times. I'm still learning to walk forward in faith though and trust that God can make a course correction if needed.
      Thank you for sharing your own struggles with me. Blessings to you on your journey forward with the Lord, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Beautiful Gretchen. I'm walking in faith that He will soon reveal His plan for me!

    1. Kim,
      I love that you're walking in faith with Him! I'm still learning that "walking" part. Haha. He will indeed reveal His plan to you; sometimes in ways we least expect it too!
      Blessings to you. Thanks for stopping by.