Life Through the Lens: Why do prayers appear to go unanswered?

Kevin Schrapel reflects on hunting rabbits in his childhood, and searching for answers later in life.

This post was contributed by Kevin Schrapel, and is the author’s personal opinion.

“I pray to God about _____ but nothing seems to happen; maybe my faith is not strong enough.”

How often are we tempted to have those thoughts?

If how and when God answers me depends on how strong my faith is, he would not be the God of love who only wants what is best for me.

If I pray to him, then surely I believe all he says; otherwise why bother praying?

He tells us in Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11, “I know the thoughts I think toward you … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”.

We don’t always understand that someone who loves us, who has more experience, who knows more about our situation, will always act in our best interest.

As a nine- or 10-year-old boy growing up on a farm and with ready and approved access to a .22 rifle for hunting rabbits, you would think I would be happy.

But no, I wanted to use the 12-gauge shotgun.


Because it was bigger, more powerful and made a louder bang.

Of course Dad, who no doubt loved me and knew better, always said, “No, you’ll knock your shoulder off!”

Maybe we need to accept that God, who loves us, knows what is best for us.

We can be tempted to think God has given up caring about us and our problems.

In such times, stop and think about these words spoken by Jesus:

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)

Add to the above these words from a well-known and strong follower of Jesus, St Paul the apostle, writing to encourage Christians in Rome, which was not a good place to be as a Christian: “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

Remember, it is not about your faith, but God’s love for you.

Never give up talking to him, no matter how trivial you or important you might think your prayer is.

He is always listening.

God bless.

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