Thank God for unanswered prayers!

I am so glad that God will overrule my prayers at times, because I have prayed for things fervently, believing they were the will of God, and they were flat-out wrong. I am so thankful that God said no to those prayers.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, as the cross was getting closer, Jesus prayed to the Father.

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:41-42)

Yet I have actually heard some people say, “Never pray, ‘Not my will, but Yours be done.’ That is a lack of faith.” Some have even said, “What you should really pray is, ‘Not Your will, but mine be done.’”

Let’s just say that I don’t want to be standing too close to those people when lightning strikes, because they have things turned around.

Thy will be done.

Never be afraid to pray, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” By saying that, you are simply saying, “Lord, I don’t know all the facts. I don’t know everything there is to know. My knowledge is limited. My experience is limited. So if what I am praying is outside of Your will for any reason, please graciously overrule it.” You won’t always understand how you should pray. What it comes down to is telling God that you want His will more than your own.

20/20 Hindsight

I know this is hard at times. Sometimes you don’t understand why God doesn’t give you what you ask for. When you’re young and single, you may see a handsome guy or beautiful girl and just know that person is the one for you. But as the lyrics to a country song say, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.”

As time passes, you will look back with 20/20 hindsight, and you will say, “Thank God He did not answer my prayers,” or “Thank God He answered my prayers,” whichever the case may be.

Finally…remember the words of Jesus: “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:32-33, NLT)

7 thoughts on “Thank God for unanswered prayers!”

  1. Kathi says:

    Yes! I have no problem praying for others, but when it comes to praying for myself it has become harder and harder. For I am so thankful to what the Father has granted me, and for all Jesus was willing to go through out of His love for me, I feel I could need nothing but for Him to teach me His will for my life. Sure I am going g through a lot of physical stuff, but that is my flesh. I am only concerned with my spirit.

  2. Jim Miulli says:

    My brother Greg.
    I lost my son in 2005. I feel your pain listening you your sermons. And I thank God He chose you as His vessel.
    It took me almost 10 years for me to say,
    “Your will be done”

  3. Jimena says:

    Just what I needed! Thank you Lord! 🙂

  4. Carol says:

    Thank You Jesus!

  5. says:

    God is so good and awesome. He really knows what’s best for me. Over the years I have on more than one occasion, found myself thanking God for not answering my prayers. I really needed to be reminded of this today. This may be confirmation (yes), no, maybe, or simply just wait. Regardless of the choices,I thank you in advance. You do know what’s best for me. Amen!

  6. tracy says:

    Dear Pastor Greg-
    Lately I’ve been dealing with a trial. I really haven’t had much direction in prayer regarding the situation, but I know the Lord knows. Thank you for your devotions, your sermons on the radio and your blog. God’s word does sustain me in my darkest hour and I am so grateful!!

  7. Jeff Flaker says:

    Jeremiah 29:11
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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