Could an unanswered prayer be because God has something better planned for you?

Could an unanswered prayer be because God has something better planned for you?

First Corinthians 2:9

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

What We Think

It is one thing to pray for something that we believe we want, but it may be an altogether different thing that God knows we need. Needs and wants are not the same thing. When my son was very young, he wanted to play with a knife, but what he wanted was not what he needed. I knew better. I knew he’d likely hurt himself, so I said no. Many a person who has inherited a fortune from their parents got just what they wanted, but it wasn’t what they needed because they ended up destitute and in poverty. Some ended up in bankruptcy, and a few even committed suicide. This all started from the desire for wealth, so money may not be the best thing for us, even though we think it would be. For one thing, if we were rich, we might take our eyes off of God, feeling that since we now have all of our needs met, we don’t need anything from God. The deceitfulness of riches and cares of this world can lead us away from Christ (Mark 4:19) and can lead to many sorrows (1 Tim 6:10). In Solomon’s wisdom, he warned about being too rich, lest we forget about God, or being too poor, where we’d have to steal to survive (Prov 30:8). If God doesn’t answer your prayer to be financially secure, He must have something better for you.

What God Thinks

A few times I have actually heard people tell me that they thanked God for unanswered prayer because they later realized that it wouldn’t have been the best thing for them. In fact, it could have turned out harmful for them in the long run. Prayer doesn’t really change God’s mind; it usually changes ours, sometimes for the better. Jesus once prayed to have the cup of the dregs of human depravity (or sin) pass from Him, but God said no each time, and aren’t we thankful for that (Matt 26:39-42); otherwise, we would have no redemption from our sins and we would still have the wrath of God abiding on each one of us (John 3:18; 36b).

What Do You Think?

Have you ever wondered if what you are praying for is in your best interest? I have a few times, but in the end God’s will is the thing that we should qualify all prayer with. If it’s not God’s will, we have no business praying for it because He surely knows what is best for us, better than we ourselves do. God knows the future (Isaiah 46:10), and we don’t (Eccl 8:7; 10:14). We should be content with what we have, and if we are praying for God’s will, then we know that it’s the best thing that could possibly happen to us. An unanswered prayer could certainly be because God says, “Wait, not yet.” At other times He says, “No, you’ll hurt yourself,” but sometimes it’s “No, I have something better for you.”

A Closing Prayer

Righteous, Holy Father, thank You for Your wisdom of always knowing what’s best for me because I cannot know what is always for my own good. Thank You for what You have already given me, and please forgive me for not being content with what I already have. I pray for Your perfect will to be done in my life and that my prayers align with that. I pray this in the Strong Name of Jesus Christ.


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