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I think most people can sympathize with your question.  Sometimes it does seem like the Lord is not answering our prayers, or at least not answering them the way we expected.  Even as believers, we need to make sure that we are not doing things that would hinder our prayers from being answered.  Psalms 66:18 says, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  When we continue in sin, that will definitely hurt our relationship with the Lord, and He may choose to disregard our prayers.

Let’s look at a couple of verses where the Lord Jesus spoke of prayer.  In John 14:13 the Lord said, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  Again, we read His words in Matthew 21:22, “And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”  Now let’s compare those verses with 1 John 5:14 which says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.”  Notice how that this verse qualifies the other verses.  If we ask “anything according to his will”, is an important and loving stipulation.  The Lord, who knows far better than we do, answers our prayers according to His perfect wisdom and will.  If your young child asked to play with a knife, would you give it to him?  What if he begged and said he really wanted to play with it, would you then give it to him?  Of course not!  We would not give our children something that would eventually hurt them.  How wonderful to know that our Father will not give us things that would hurt us, either physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

We may pray for the health of a loved one, but sometimes it’s not the Lord’s will to heal.  Because of sin in the world, we all are subject to death as we read in Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”  The Apostle Paul prayed three times to have a physical infirmity removed.  The Lord didn’t remove it, but instead gave Paul a wonderful lesson that is for us as well as it was for him.  2 Corinthians 12:8-9 says, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  May we all learn that valuable lesson.  We have the Lord; we have His grace and we have His strength.  When we realize these things and lean on Him for all our needs the power of Christ can truly rest upon us.

Here’s a little writing I keep in my computer and read from time to time.  I hope it helps you.

I PRAYED FOR STRENGTH THAT I MIGHT ACHIEVE

I WAS MADE WEAK THAT I MIGHT OBEY

I PRAYED FOR RICHES THAT I MIGHT BE HAPPY

I WAS GIVEN POVERTY THAT I MIGHT BE WISE

I PRAYED FOR POWER THAT I MIGHT HAVE PRAISE OF MEN

I WAS GIVEN INFIRMITY THAT I MIGHT FEEL THE NEED OF GOD

I PRAYED FOR THINGS THAT I MIGHT ENJOY LIFE

I WAS GIVEN LIFE THAT I MIGHT ENJOY ALL THINGS

 

I RECEIVED NOTHING I ASKED FOR BUT ALL THAT I HOPED FOR

MY PRAYER WAS ANSWERED.  I AM OF ALL MEN MOST BLESSED