Unanswered Prayers

Genesis 21:7

LONG AFTER Abraham and Sarah had given up hope of experiencing this joy, they held their very own son in their arms. It would have been easy for them to lose hope when the fulfillment of the promise didn’t come about in the way or the timing they expected. But their trust in the Lord went deeper than their human perspective, deeper than their doubts.

As I look back on my life, I recall many prayers I’m thankful the Lord chose to set aside. He gave me instead what I needed. And what He gave brought me even greater long-term happiness and more deep-down joy.

But when we’re in the midst of a trial or a time of waiting, it can be difficult to have that perspective. What can we do when we find ourselves in such a season?

First, we can ask the Lord for sustaining strength and divine wisdom. I know that sounds elementary, but we often forget that we can’t do life on our own. We need divine help from one day to the next. In addition, we need supernatural strength and divine wisdom to wait for God’s plan to unfold. Good things come to those who wait.

Second, we can forgive yourself for being shortsighted and for missing the big picture. Forgive yourself for clinging when you should have released. Forgive yourself for failing to be excited about what’s ahead when God’s plan doesn’t include your plans. Repent of your failings, receive God’s forgiveness, and then forgive yourself.

I’ve learned this in my lifetime: the last one we forgive on this earth is ourselves. God forgives you, so why don’t you?

In time, you will come to realize, as Abraham did, that in God’s appointed plan, the best is yet to come.



Are there any areas in your life where you’ve given up hope? Ask the Lord for His strength and seek His perspective on the situation.


The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.

PSALM 138:8

Taken from FAITH FOR THE JOURNEY, by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2014. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved. www.tyndale.com

Posted in Prayer, Worry and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.