examples of unanswered prayers in the bible

examples of unanswered prayers in the bible

Virtually the entire crowd turned against them, telling them to shut up. Appears in the text . ‘in Christ’s stead’ is a divine gift offered to them in love.”, H. A. Julius Adewumi, 4/18/97) I will like to point out from the bible some great men of God who had some unanswered prayers. Despite the prayers of “the saints” reaching the throne of God and being so treasured by heaven that their prayers are mixed with incense, (Revelation 5:6-8; 8:3-4 God’s Word is emphatic that the oppression will still occur. . Examples Of Unanswered Prayers In The Bible Cancer continued to unanswered in your family woman was coming A cruel or robotic god might give us whatever we pray for, but a wise, loving Father would protect us from the consequences of our finite intelligence and will sometimes risk our wrath by wisely declining our requests. . You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake . For more information, see Bible Version Dilemmas, World English Bible Joel 2:13-14 Tear your heart, and not your garments, It seems some preachers and scholars even find it an embarrassment. The notion of embracing such suffering, though well understood in New Testament times, is so foreign to our sin-sick, self-infatuated era that many of us slip over Scriptures about sharing Christ’s suffering as if they don’t exist. . . It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger. This is so very different from what, in the short term, is best for those who are already in Christ and so already safe from divine judgment. Thus the Lord showed me and behold, the Lord God called for judgment by fire; and it dried up the great deep, and would have devoured the land. Why are some such prayers not answered? In it, I address the personal bewilderment and anguish we face when our own deepest prayers go unanswered. A shallow or selective reading of Scripture might lead some to imagine that the Bible teaches that our Lord always gives passionate, faith-filled Christians whatever they pray for. . Unforgiveness (Mark 11:24-25), selfishness (Proverbs 21:13), doubt (Matthew 21:21-22), greed (James 4:2-3), pride (2 Chronicles 7:14-15), and stubbornness (Zechariah 7:11-13) hinder God’s desire to answer prayer. It is hard to resist when it dovetails so perfectly with various matters we have been discovering. But I have also seen many of my prayers go unanswered. Doing so was not impertinent (we stressed his humility). BIBLE Scriptures for Unanswered Prayers By CBN.com CBN.com – There are five key reasons why certain prayers go unanswered.. It’s the wrong time. But my heart will not let me. But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t know what I will choose. . . Besides longing to serve a God who is loving, patient and merciful, who would want to be in a church where if you happened to annoy someone, he/she could literally incinerate you with a single prayer? We are beginning to see that the Bible regards it as a privilege for the righteous to suffer. As I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel? It is not that anyone dares put himself on the same level with Christ in this respect. . (Emphasis mine.) (Emphasis mine.). join in His suffering” (The Voice). He, and his brother James, asked Jesus for a special place of privilege and power the age to come. “His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.” (Matthew 15:23). We have, of course, been finding more and more biblical examples where God was resolute in declining a request – and even requests that earned a divine rebuke. The Joy of Unanswered Prayer . Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days [presumably a figurative expression of the duration]. You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake . Another time, John and James approached Jesus about calling down fire down from heaven to destroy a Samaritan village that rejected them. Scripture does not specify whether God intervened before David had time to formulate his longing into a prayer but regardless of the specifics it was certainly close to a prayer. Our Lord’s eagerness for an intercessor to ‘change God’s mind’ is displayed here: Ezekiel 22:30 I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. . My servant Moses is not so. What an astonishingly beautiful story resulted from Jesus’ refusal to do as they had asked! Jesus was wrestling, however, with a dilemma that our prayers often hit: there are things that even for the Almighty are impossible and it be the greatest good. Please let me go over and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that fine mountain, and Lebanon.” But the Lord was angry with me for your sakes, and didn’t listen to me. For what god is there in heaven or in earth that can do works like yours, and mighty acts like yours? (Emphasis mine – Jeremiah 11:14 and 14:11-12 are similar.). . This webpage differs from that one in that, rather than focusing on our own unanswered prayers, it examines the surprisingly many prayers of leading Bible characters that went unanswered, and why these, too, prove God’s goodness, and confirm that many of us have been mistaken in interpreting some Scriptures as saying that every prayer of the righteous will be answered with a yes. Luke 12:15  . I found particularly moving these quotes for Bible commentaries following on this passage: The revered New Testament scholar J. Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds. King James Version Jeremiah 15:1  . “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.” pleaded Philip and he, too, was rebuked instead of receiving what he had hoped for (John 14:8). . Deuteronomy 3:23-26 I begged the Lord at that time, saying, “Lord, you have begun to show your servant your greatness, and your strong hand. Consider Elijah on Mount Carmel straight after his stupendous victory over all of the prophets of Baal. For what god is there in heaven or in earth that can do works like yours, and mighty acts like yours? Beware! . Heavenly Father, I thank you that you are the almighty God. To draw upon what I have written elsewhere about the implications: Persecution is one thing, but natural disasters are in a different league. Matthew 10:21-25 Brother will deliver up brother to death . . . How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! Ezekiel 33:11  . Perhaps hoping to further pressure Jesus, their mother even added her voice to the request (Matthew 20:20-21). Although “it was in the heart of David” (2 Chronicles 6:7) to build the temple, the Lord said that this must be done by his son (1 Chronicles 17:1-4; 1 Chronicles 28:2-3). . If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! Finally, in response to still more pleas, he added that granting her request was not right, plus he referred to her as a dog – an unclean animal. . . Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn’t fall. Thus he showed me and behold, the Lord stood beside a wall made by a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. They had the intelligence to realize that human inability to perceive every eventuality means that even what to us seems essential or undeniably good, could astonish us by turning out disastrously and prove to be the very thing we should never have asked for. While “in the Spirit” (Revelation 1:10) he heard the Risen Lord tell Christians such things as: Revelation 2:9-10 I know your works, oppression, and your poverty . He managed to secure the help of Jesus’ chosen disciples. . An object that is a square is not a circle. 2 Timothy 2:25 in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance . (Emphasis mine.). . This issue engulfs far more Christians than just Paul: Philippians 1:29-30  . Both in new and old testament they are many answered prayers. The people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from their greatest even to their least. . There’s the man who, being paralyzed, had no way of getting to Jesus. Proverbs 24:16 for a righteous man falls seven times, and rises up again . Then, because she persisted, he gave her his important reason: to do as she requested would be contrary to his divine calling. His prayer, too, went unanswered. . I say “seemingly” because we should understand that even on these occasions, God did not relinquish his sovereignty. For answers, see Why Christians Suffer. . There are still more Bible indications of great men of God whose lives might have been tragically cut short if our Lord had answered such prayers. . For instance, if I am concerned about someone, I often think something would most help them, and so pray for it, but my amazing Lord sometimes thrills and astonishes me by ignoring what to me seems the only course of action, and responds to my wishes by blessing the person by what, in the long term, turns out to be a far more effective way. It will also rescue us from lies that will not only end in disappointment but too often cruelly dupe spiritual champions into mistakenly thinking they have failed. His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.” … Unanswered prayer is such an important topic and so easily confused by fuzzy thinking or misinterpretation of the Bible, that I have devoted several webpages to the topic; each approaching the subject from a different angle. God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. Nor can we imagine the burden of being a God whose intellect is so powerful as to comprehend the full extent to almost every ‘tiny,’ ‘easy’ decision triggers chain reactions that, whilst perhaps immensely helping some people in the short term, end up harming others further along the bewildering maze of time. One of the reasons why prayer is so misunderstood is because we have taken certain verses in the Bible and we use them in a completely unintended way. The webpage then proceeds to examine from a biblical perspective the personal implications for our own unanswered prayers. When a Samaritan village discovered that Jesus and his disciples were heading for Jerusalem, the villagers refused to accommodate them. They sought the Lord and prayed according to His will and He answered them. On the seventh day, the child died. When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me. They failed utterly. Had such prayers been answered, we would have a thinner and/or different Bible. Nevertheless, there remain certain prayer requests where, no matter how righteous and high in faith one is, we find ourselves in a position like David: we can only give prayer our best shot and humbly leave the result in God’s capable hands, knowing that only he is truly good, infinitely wise, and flawlessly selfless in his devotion to humanity. This principle is reiterated in Ezekiel: Ezekiel 14:13-16 Son of man, when a land sins against me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and cut off from it man and animal; though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord. This passionate request was not merely refused but was met with a stinging rebuke (Matthew 16:22-23). Moreover, they were not only asking Jesus to annihilate many people (perhaps including children) but seeking the power to do it themselves. When I fall, I will arise. Even on the topic in hand, I have no delusion of having exhausted the inexhaustible riches in a fraction of God’s Word. The Gospels are crammed with moving stories of people who overcame serious obstacles to receive their request from God. . For more information, see Bible Version Dilemmas, World English Bible . . We should read these and take comfort. Instead of accepting that this case was obviously too hard, he sought out the busy Jesus. (Unless otherwise specified) You can’t serve both God and Mammon. Many chapters later he lamented in his agonized prayer, “I cry to you, and you do not answer me” (Job 30:20). He reached the house only to find it so ridiculously crowded (probably with people peering through windows and spilling out everywhere) that entry was impossible. Peculiarly, that’s relevant and yet changes nothing. What was going on? Likewise, despite the infinite Mind being able to devise things that to us are inconceivable, it is apparently impossible, even for someone of unlimited intelligence and power, to invent a way for the Son of God to avoid the cross, while permitting a just God to forever treat any of us as if we had never sinned. There was no such loophole in the prophet Jonah’s prayer, however: “. . . Moreover, the following makes it undeniable that Paul suffered unanswered prayer: 2 Corinthians 12:7-9  . If you are interested here are a couple more examples of prayer changing God’s pronouncements: “Changing God’s Mind”. . Not once, not twice, but three times, this mighty apostle earnestly prayed (“begged,” “pleaded,” “implored” is how various translations put it) for deliverance, and God declined. God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord . Another apostle, writing under the Spirit’s anointing to a different audience, said the same thing: 1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. For more information, see Bible Version Dilemmas, Place mouse or equivalent over a Bible reference on-line If so, it screams a less than perfect understanding of the Supreme One’s ways. (Slightly Modified) Suddenly, out of a clear sky, a bolt of fire consumed not only the sacrifice but all the water in the trench and even the stones and soil. Does anyone seriously think that this bloodied saint never prayed for protection? Consider, for example, how vastly more primitive this world would be if many of humanity’s inventors or agents of change had had their lives snuffed out, simply because death were only a prayer away. He will tread our iniquities under foot; and you will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. 3. Even after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter made a request that Jesus refused to answer, even though for Jesus to grant him his request would not have been catastrophic. Neither is God fickle, nor able to be bribed or emotionally manipulated. . . . Luke 12:15  . Don’t seek them . It isn’t on God’s agenda. We need to lose some of our arrogance if we presume we can rival God in having the infallibility and infinite intelligence to always know how to bring about the best long-term outcome, and therefore the best thing for which to pray. . . . The most popular prayer verse to get misused is Matthew 21:18-22 18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. “Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us,” pleaded Philip. there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me . The divine dilemma is that what is best for those who have not yet surrendered to God is a delay in God’s judgment on this planet, and for committed Christians to be around to lead them to Christ before God’s patience ends. “Or who has first given to him,and it will be repaid to him again?”. Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses. God hasn't forgotten or abandoned you. Each day’s own evil is sufficient. List of answered prayers in the bible is a good encouragement to show everyone that truly God answers prayers. If someone so close to Jesus’ heart and so receptive to divine revelation could get things so horribly wrong, do you really think any of us are incapable of ever asking God for things he should not grant? . Jeremiah 7:16 Therefore don’t pray for this people, neither lift up a cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me; for I will not hear you. He prayed still more. Rather than answering prayers that let us settle for mediocrity or worse, our gracious Lord honors us by expecting us to break free from cowardice and rise to the heights he knows a life yielded to him is capable of. Or who has been his counselor?” They, by having joined the “fellowship of his sufferings (Phil 3:10), have chosen to be Christ’s replacements on earth in order to suffer in his place in his absence. cut me off!” (Job 6:8-9). . For he is small.”. . (Emphasis mine.). Looked at yet another way: if it were legitimate for our Lord to force salvation (which involves a change of heart) upon people, it would be an act of cruelty on his part not to force it on everyone. The Lord relented concerning this. . Of course, what makes this relevant to our discussion is that, like Jesus in the garden, this involves having prayers for deliverance from suffering going unanswered. Who knows? They said, “He is dead.” . With not a cloud in sight, this faith champion put his face between his knees and prayed intensely. (Emphasis mine.). 2 Samuel 12:16-18 David therefore begged God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the ground. Psalm 51) and instead of wallowing in defeat, he fully embraced God’s forgiveness and prayed as earnestly as if his sin no longer hindered his relationship with God, which is what divine forgiveness is all about. Instead, this verse is speaking of the will of a God who hates sin but loves the sinner – a God who reels in anguish when sinners directly or indirectly inflict suffering on the innocent, and yet a God who loves the guilty so much as to want them to have yet another chance to repent before it is too late. I know, I know. The high places of Isaac will be desolate, the sanctuaries of Israel will be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”. . Appears in the text Faith in God’s goodness is the one thing that will save us from the danger of seeing only the obvious and being thrown by circumstances. (Emphasis mine – Jeremiah 11:14 and 14:11-12 are similar.) David pleaded desperately for the life of his baby. Bible Versions Used It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. Jesus, who came to show us the Father, frequently refused to give people what they asked of him. I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven; and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven.”. This is hardly surprising, since both feature the same God who changes not (Malachi 3:6; Psalm 102:27), and the New Testament keeps citing the Old with divine authority. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?”. In our era, crammed as it is with “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,” (2 Timothy 3:4) this is a startling statement. Another example is the seven sons of Sceva trying to cast demons out in the name of “Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Precisely because it turned out badly, it “became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Place mouse or equivalent over a Bible reference on-line Philippians 3:10 My aim is . . The apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, did not say pray and it will go away but that suffering has been “graciously granted” to them. Instead of responding positively, Jesus rebuked them (Luke 9:54-55). You shall tell him, the Lord says: . Nevertheless, if you have been a Christian for any amount of time you are likely to have unanswered prayers. David prayed earnestly for the healing of his sick son. . .’ Please pardon the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your loving kindness, and according as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”, The Lord said, “I have pardoned according to your word [Exodus 32:14 words the same incident this way: The Lord repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people. . I confess that for most of my life such a bare-boned translation led me to misinterpret this as implying being reluctantly given something unpleasant, rather than realize the astonishingly true meaning: for a Christian to suffer is to be generously honored with a precious gift. In effect, the Lord was saying, “Amos, asking me to relent worked twice, but there’s no point in asking anymore.”. David humbly accepted God’s decision. Speak no more to me of this matter. When I graduated from high school, I went to the University of Chicago on a full-ride scholarship and earned a starting position on the basketball team by the end of my freshman year. This rebuke came despite them having the sense and reverence to frame their request virtually in the form of ‘if it be your will’; specifically: “Lord, do you want us to . 1. Many of us can tolerate and/or understand several types of unanswered prayer but it turns very different when personal tragedy strikes. Jesus’ last prayer in his earthly life seemed to have gone horribly unanswered. To read it, the Lord three times that it might depart from me, my... An empty spot 8:21 another disciple said to start with these clear-cut, undeniable Bible.... In your life John Mark 10:38 ) for Jerusalem, the following it... To love, and love can not be gracious to me to relent twice! Nothing is impossible with God for even asking the coward’s way out, nor ticket! 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So many people of receiving what he had hoped for ( John 14:8-9 ) fasted and into!

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