One of the reasons our prayers might not be answered is because we attempt to prescribe how God should answer them. And that all boils down to a lack of trust. The believing soul, after he has unburdened his heart in prayer to the Lord, resigns himself to the faithfulness, goodness, and wisdom of God. The true believer will leave the shaping of the answer to God’s mercy and he will welcome whatever way God chooses to answer.
Those who prescribe to God how and when to answer their prayer actually limit the Holy One of Israel. Since God may not bring the answer in the front door, they are not aware of his coming in the back. They trust only in conclusions and not promises. But God will not be bound to time, manner, or means of answering. He will forever do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or think of asking. He will answer with health, or grace that is better than health. He will send love, or something beyond it. He will deliver, or do something even greater.
God desires that we simply leave our requests lodged in his powerful arms, cast all our care upon him, and go forth with peace and serenity to await his relief. How tragic to have so great a God and so little faith in him. So, no more, “Is he able? Can he pardon? Can he heal? Can he work a miracle for me?” How that must grate on the ears of our almighty God. Away with such unbelief! Rather, come to him as unto a faithful Creator.
A few words of encouragement concerning prayer. When you are down and Satan whispers in your ear that God has forgotten you, stop his voice with this: “Devil, it is not God who has forgotten, but it is me. I have forgotten all his past blessings or else I could not now be questioning his faithfulness.” And then pray as David did, “I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of your deeds” (Psalm 77:11-12).