"Why doesn't God answer my prayers?"
Have you ever felt that God doesn’t always answer prayer? Have you ever had a day where things go wrong and you find yourself crying out to God, but nothing changes? Why does God not answer your prayers?
“We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God - those whom he has called according to his plan.” Romans 8:28 (GWT).
If you believe that all things work together for the good, don’t you think that God is simply answering your prayers in a different way than what you expected?
You can't run away from your trials
Imagine you are dealing with a difficult customer at work. He is maybe even shouting at you and inside you feel more and more angry.
After he has left, you pray that the customer doesn’t return, because you really can’t bear being shouted at again. Or maybe you see that getting angry was not how you should react as a Christian. You pray, “Oh, please don’t let that customer come back, I really don’t want to get so angry again.” But then the next day that same customer is back and shouts at you some more! Do you think that God didn’t hear your prayer?
“My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 (GNT).
Why do you pray for the tests and trials to go away? You can’t go through your whole life without ever meeting somebody who makes you angry. Such people are everywhere! God lets you meet these people so that you have the opportunity to overcome your anger and become more loving and patient.
Perfect and complete, needing nothing
“My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.” James 1:2-4 (NCV).
Isn’t this a far better solution? To be perfect and complete, and having everything you need?
Of course it is! But God has made laws, and if we follow them, then we will get there. God won’t make your anger just magically disappear one day. He wants you to do His will and obey Him. “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 (GNT).
Instead of asking why God isn’t listening to you, maybe you should ask why you aren’t listening to God! If you really want to do God’s will, He will answer your prayer for patience with exactly the right trials in which you can learn to become patient. If you feel that God is not hearing your prayers, ask yourself if you have really said “May your will be done” in every situation.
Don't pray to God to take the trials and tests away; pray to Him to give you strength to use those trials to become more like Jesus! Then He will be more than willing to answer your prayers! Then you will never have another hopeless day again!