When a Prayer Doesn't Seem to Be Answered

A mother finds a different way to inspire her son to pray.

By Patricia Lorenz


And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

I started looking for creative ways ten-year-old Andrew and I could pray at bedtime, instead of saying the Lord’s Prayer as we had done every night since he was three.

We began simply by making up our own spontaneous prayers. And one night we read Psalm 27. We concentrated on the lines, “Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord . . .”(verse 14, TLB).

Andrew had been talking for days about his lost Cleveland Indians baseball cap, and that night he asked God to help him find it. I knew Andrew had listened to the Psalm, because he stopped talking about the lost cap. And some days later, when he found it, he told me, “Look, I was patient and I waited...and found my cap.”

Creative prayers. Begin your own search for fresh ways for your family to converse with God, and watch for new opportunities in answered prayers.

Father, if a ten-year-old child can learn to wait patiently for his prayers to be answered, I think I can too. Thank You for showing me how to pray more creatively...and to wait more patiently for Your answers.

Make a list of five of your prayers that have been answered. Put the list in your wallet or purse, and read it whenever you’re feeling impatient for God’s answer.

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Excerpted from Time Out for the Spirit ©2010 by Guideposts. All rights reserved.

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My mother was Irish Catholic so I was raised Catholic. It was when I got into my teens that I felt something was missing in my life, a connection with the Holy Spirit. I left the Catholic faith, got married to a wonderful intelligent woman that already had a son, we had a daughter together. It was during this time that our new family went through a series of events one of them being attending a local Baptist Church called Brodie Road. It was at Brodie Road that I was saved and baptized. It was also during this time that I learned more about the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives and Christ. I always thought that saying Christ was wrong. I just recently got laid off from a Designer 3 position after 11 years due to standing up for what was right at my job. My wife and I both know that God answers prayer since we have paid attention to the outcome. It was not always what we wanted but we know it was his will which we prayed for in the first place.

To me the biggest relational headache that I have is addressing of the phsycology of the world that I'm in that God is so remote and unrelating to us. [Yet they will often go chase a phantom ghost as the great answer to some problem.] Anyway, when I read in the science articles about quantum entanglements ability to evidence undelayed communication acoss any distance; it eventually sunk in that perhaps this can explain all the spiritual links that men are comming across and also provide a logical foundation for the Mind of God to function in a way we can understand. It seems to me that God focuses on relationships over being concerned about the time and place one is; though that does come into play some where a 'physical' relationships is necessary for the spiritual relationship to be fulfilled. One might consider here the predicted redeeming life of Jesus; that also wandered to nearby places when the Jews worked against him.

Anytway, after noting this quantum entanglement stuff, I feel much more at ease in being able to draw the world's struggles toward One who knows us all well beyond the way we understand ourselves. No doubt there will be lesser spirtual entities in the mix that will help and hinder us; but they also must all bow in their limitations to the One who makes us all.

When my mother died, I needed to find her legal papers: will, POA, etc. She had shown me where she kept those things, in a brown expanding folder in her closet. I had looked there - and everywhere else and couldn't find the will. I found the folder but didn't find the will in it. I prayed - very hard - to God that I could find the things I was looking for. As clear as if she were standing there, I heard the answer from mother, "Joyce, go look in that folder again. I told you where it was." Sure enough, I looked once more, and there it was. I don't know why I couldn't find it the other times I looked, but the prayer worked!

I believe in answered prayers. We have a grandson that lost both of his legs, one above the knee and the other just below the knee. He was hit by an eight-teen wheeler going 90 miles an hour. He was off the road checking his car because it had made a noise and was hit by the truck. He was entering his senior in college when this happened. We were given little hope of his recovery. He was praysd for world wide. He did not have any brain injury, no other broken bones. He was in the trauma unit for two weeks, transferred the trauma surgical floor, had plastic surgery on one leg with healing and ho infection. He spent two weeks in Rehab. and discharged. he is married now and working for a computer firm in Columbia, S.C. I know GOD answers prayers, We had faith in GOD and this strengthen our faith. We gave GOD the glory and praise for this because His presence guided the doctors and nurses hands that night. He led us out of the darkness into the light. Thank you Lord JESUS for loving our family and letting him stay with us.

I personally know that God answers prayer too. Like the little boy I have prayed that God help me find... and within minutes or seconds it comes into my mind where I left it or He gives me suggestions on how to find something that I have no knowledge of in the first place. In my search many times I will find other things that I know God wanted me to know. Recently, both my arterial arteries in my neck were 80% blocked. The left side was operated on and cleaned out. After 8 weeks another ultra sound was done on both sides to check to see if the left side was working well since the repair and the right side checked to see where it was at then. It was only 20% blocked. The surgeon recommended waiting 6 months and have it checked again because there wasn't enough blockage to hurt me anymore.(and yes, he said, sometimes it happens that way). Well, I was elated and excited that I wasn't going to need another surgery! Then outsiders came around, "maybe you should get another opinion?" I know they mean well, but if I was to get another opinion that would mean that I didn't trust God to have answered our many prayers for my complete healing. Also, wouldn't you think that would mean that I didn't trust the doctors in the first place with the first diagnoses that got me into surgery in the first place? I believe in answered prayers. I believe that God is still in business today as Jesus was when he came to earth and performed healing. Thank you Jesus for everything.