“Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer For A Miracle?”

by Graham Pockett

“God didn’t save us for a life without pain,  
  He saved us from a life without meaning!”

The following is based off my answer to a person who had been praying for 10 years for a miracle. If you have doubts or questions I pray it will help you a little.

A miracle is simply positively answered prayer. In fact, God answers ALL prayer, but sometimes the answer is "no", sometimes it is "not yet", and other times the answer is "yes".

I have no idea why God answers different prayers in different ways except that He, being all all-wise and all-knowing, is aware of what is the best for us – and sometimes that is to answer a prayer in the negative.

Think of a small child who wants an ice cream just before his dinner. If his parents are wise they will say "no" because they know that granting this request at that time is inappropriate. God is also a wise parent and many times our prayer requests are not in our best interest, irrespective of what we may think.

Imagine a man who has trouble handling money – every time he earns some money he spends it unwisely. He goes before God and asks for a windfall – to win a lottery, or to receive a large inheritance "to solve his financial problems". God would most likely say "no" to that prayer request because giving that person what he wants would not be in his best interests until he can learn to handle the money he has now.

I know a lovely lady who was in a motor vehicle accident and is now a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. This happened in 1982 and she has been praying for a restoration of her movement ever since. Many prophets have told her that she will be healed, but she is still waiting in her wheelchair. Her unfailing faith has been a beacon to many people with lesser problems.

Her faith has directly and indirectly led many people to the Lord, including my family and I. Because I was saved I have posted information about Christianity on the Internet and these articles have impacted on thousands of people (my Christian articles are read about 3,000 times every week) so the effect is like a stone thrown into a still pond – the ripples go out further and further.

Would you be content being wheelchair-bound if that meant saving souls for Christ? Would those saved souls be more important to you than your own mobility?

Romans 5:3-4 says:

“...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” [NIV]

I would add that our faith grows by being exercised, and faith is not exercised when we receive everything we want (or think we need). What faith is required when God becomes a Santa Claus – giving presents to all? It takes no faith to simply receive presents (“miracles”) but it takes great faith to believe when you don’t get everything you want, when you trust God completely knowing He is doing the very best for you in all areas of your life. That is what strengthen’s faith.

Ultimately, we are here on this Earth to exercise, and therefore strengthen, our faith.

Let me leave you with a little poem that was written by the mother of a severely disabled child. I pray it helps.

And God Said No

I asked God to take away my pride. And God said "No".
He said it was not for Him to take away, but for me to give up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole. And God said "No".
He said her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience. And God said "No".
He said patience is a by-product of tribulations. It isn't granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness. And God said "No".
He said He gives me blessings, happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain. And God said "No".
He said suffering draws me apart from worldly cares and brings me closer to Him.

I asked God to make my spirit grow. And God said "No".
He said I must grow on my own. But He will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. And God said "No".
He said He will give me life, that I may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me love others, as much as he loves me.
And God said "Ah, finally you have the idea!"

Copyright © Claudia Minden Weisz (the mother of a Rett Syndrome child)

Graham Pockett

I pray you have found this article interesting and I would be pleased to read any comments you may have. However, my workload is such that I may not be able to respond to all mail. Address any comments to Graham Pockett.

A Prayer Promise

an e-mail question from Cynthia

This question of prayers and answers is a big one in my prayer forum. I have a brief question relating to Matthew 21:22: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

We discuss this verse a lot. There does not seem to be any stipulation carried with it. It does not say "Ask, I'll think about it, and if I like the idea I'll answer yes". It simply says that if we ask, and we believe, we'll receive.

I was curious about your thoughts.

my reply to Cynthia

One response to your question can be found in the commentary of the NIV Life Application Bible which says:

    This verse is not a guarantee that we can get anything we want simply by asking Jesus and believing. God does not grant requests that would hurt us or others or that would violate his own nature or will. Jesus' statement is not a blank check. To be fulfilled, our requests must be in harmony with God's kingdom. The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will be in line with God's will and then God will be happy to grant them.
I find it dangerous to highlight a single verse to the exclusion of the rest of the Word. The Bible is a complete book and a single verse can give the wrong or incomplete impression. From the Bible we can see all the various natures of God – loving, tough, warlike, petulant, etc. To highlight any one of those and try to build a picture of God from it would be silly, and very wrong. Like us (we are made in His image) God is complex with many different traits. Likewise, to simply target Matthew 21:22 regarding prayer is also wrong because there are many, many other verses that show other aspects of prayer.

Finally, look around you. Do you see every prayer answered in a positive way? Of course not. Is everyone's faith strong? No, we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. The Bible tells me that if I had the faith of a mustard seed I could tell a mountain to move, and it would. All I can say is that my faith must be very small indeed because I have never been able to move mountains – or walk on water for that matter. Of course, these examples are analogies to say that through God all things are possible – even if we cannot comprehend them in our minds.

We are a finite being with limitations placed on our understanding. God is an infinite being so is therefore beyond our comprehension. The Bible is an attempt to bridge the gap between finite and infinite. If you doubt this, contemplate when time started and, if you decide that it must have started at some point in history (?) then consider what was there before time started? These questions will send your poor brain into meltdown because it simply cannot comprehend infinity. It was never wired to do so. That is part of God's design of us.

I pray my few words have not added more confusion to your understanding. We can but try and understand what we can of God's nature and promises, and endeavor not to put God in a box (not so easy).

If you haven’t yet accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or you
have drifted away from Him, commit yourself here and now!

Who is Jesus?

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Graham’s Christian writing:
"Graham Pockett doesn't mince any words, but he writes with a kind heart. If you have questions about such things as "once saved, always saved", or why so many different ideas can come from the same scripture, or how much what we see and do affects us as spiritual beings, you'll find much to think about here."  from This Christian Life
Graham Pockett
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  • "Omissions" from the NIV Bible – a look at 17 missing verses
  • Do You Believe In Miracles? – you do when they happen to you!
  • “Why Didn’t God Answer My Prayer For A Miracle?” – my response
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  • [Jesus said:] “And these signs will accompany those who believe: ... they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
    Mark 16:17-18 NIV

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    © Graham Pockett
    Last Updated: Tuesday, January 01, 2019