Prayers We All Pray (That Never Get Answered)



in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

So, your neighbor has once again delayed mowing his grass until the dandelions have gone to seed. Your teen just used up all the hot water taking another hour-long shower. Your spouse doesn’t appreciate you. And the dog ate your new couch. Sunday’s sermon was about loving your neighbor, but you’re just not feeling it. What to do?

You try praying to see the situation from God’s perspective. “Lord, let me see with Your eyes.” The next thing you know, you’re yelling at your family and looking into rehoming the dog. So much for God’s perspective.

How about the sermon instructing you to have God’s heart for the lost? You pray: “Lord, give me Your heart for people.” That works until someone shoves their overloaded grocery cart in front of you in the express lane. Or a store clerk is rude. Or someone jumps you about your political views. Next thing you know you are thinking everyone needs to go to hell! So much for God’s heart.

Why doesn’t God answer when we ask for His eyes and His heart? He doesn’t answer because you and I are not capable of seeing or loving the way God does. If we saw everything the way God sees it, our heads would explode. If we loved people the way God loves, our hearts would stop. We simply do not have His capacity. So these kinds of prayers go unanswered, leaving us frustrated with ourselves and, if we are honest, with God.

So what do we do when we desperately need His help navigating challenging situations and loving people? A small adjustment to your prayers will make a huge difference.

Instead of praying for God’s perspective, pray like this: Lord, help me see that person or situation the way You want me to see it.

Instead of praying for God’s heart, pray like this: Lord, help me love others the way You want me to love them.

You and I cannot see or love the same way God does because we are finite and lack His capacity. But we can ask Him to adjust our perception and our love for others appropriately, according to our capacity and according to His will. These prayers do get answered.

Hugs and prayers for you,

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