Have you ever prayed so hard for something, only for God to answer no? I have. More than once.
I am 40 now, and I mentioned at the beginning of last year that I want to be a prayer warrior. I have thinking a great deal about prayer and remembering my journey so far.
When I was younger I dated a guy who had promised to marry me. We lived life with this plan in the back of our heads. He was ten years older than I was. After a year, the relationship became abusive. Still, I prayed and begged God to make my dreams of marrying him come true.
One day, one of my friends noticed my bruises. She moved in with me to help me leave the relationship. God said “no” to marrying a bad guy, and “yes” to reaching me at my lowest. This is where my journey in prayer began.
When I sat broken, scared and alone, he met me there.
We started to talk. Really talk–not me bringing my requests like a grocery list to him.
When I look back on this time in life, I can clearly see why God didn’t answer my prayers to give my life to this man.
That unanswered prayer was to help me learn to long for him.
Almost ten years later, I spent eight months crying into my pillow each night. I was praying this time for the Lord to rid my body of cancer. Treatment was meant to be only 2-3 weeks and it lasted eight months.
During this time, I learned about God’s peace.
During this time, I also prayed and fixated on my prayers for us to become missionaries in Poland. We built a team that fell apart and soon after that it became clear this was another no.
During this time, I learned to trust him.
He said no to Poland because he had a larger plan for our family. One that included Poland and many other countries as well.
Now, I am no longer afraid or upset about unanswered prayers. I have always learned something about myself and the Father when my prayers go unanswered or are answered in an unexpected way.
Can you think of a time when your life was more richly blessed because you didn’t get what you prayed for?