We’ve all prayed for something that didn’t happen – or at least didn’t happen on our time schedule. There’s a couple of reasons for this happening, which include:
– You may have prayed for the wrong reason (see James 4) or someone else’s will or decision is involved, not just yours and God’s.
– God may have something better in mind than what you’re asking for (Ephesians 3:20)
– Our relationship with God is not where it ought to be, and He is more interested in relating to us as His people first, than just being a sugar daddy (Matthew 6:33)
– The situation may be more complex than you realize, and you’re asking for a quick fix when you need to be asking for something different or more substantial.
What we have to avoid doing, however, is “building a case against answered prayer”. This is what happens when we say “I prayed for this, and it didn’t happen. I prayed for that, and it didn’t happen. There’s no point praying for the other, because odds are it won’t happen, either,” or simply “Go ahead, you can pray” when there’s no expectation on your part. You’ve filled your heart with the disappointment of unanswered prayers, and let it get bigger than your ability to believe or expect.
Hebrews 11:6 says that God rewards those that believe that He exists, and that diligently seek Him. Building a case against God or answered prayer is not faith, it’s unbelief. The irony is that Jesus wants us to avoid unbelief (Mark 16:14, for example). Instead, we have the church telling us to avoid presuming that God might want to answer our prayer. I’d rather be full of faith at the risk of presumption, and trust that God will correct me if necessary.
Even in Jesus’ ministry, He ministered to some people more than once (see Mark 8:22-26 for an example). Sometimes a problem is much like an octopus, and each time pray about it, another tentacle comes loose. If you quit praying, you may never see the end result.
Sometimes you just have to PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).