When God Doesn’t Answer My Prayer

A Bold Prayer

I wrote down a bold prayer. In May 2017, I sat in a crowded dining room near the beach on the Bay of Bengal listening to my Indian brothers and sisters express their courageous faith and bold requests. That night, gathering my feeble courage, I wrote a bold request on a sheet of blank paper. I folded it and sealed it in an envelope. At home, I placed it in my desk drawer. And waited.

My caution might sound silly to some of you, especially if you don’t know the faith road I’ve traveled with Jesus. You see, I had a crisis of belief in 1999. I lost my faith and broke up with Jesus. I wrote about that here and here. When Dave and I faced a difficult situation in our newly planted church, we had fasted and prayed for Jesus to intervene with a miracle. We had cried out to Him for weeks, for hearts to change and eyes to be opened. Then, when no miracle came, our hope shriveled and dreams died.

In the year that followed, He showed me that I believed lies about Him.  

  • God doesn’t care about me or my problems. He’s too busy running the universe and helping other people to give attention to my small problems.
  • God won’t accept my requests for some unknown reason. Believing that He is hard and uncaring, He must want for me to suffer or learn a difficult lesson.

A Big Lesson

In the years that followed that difficult year, He began rebuilding my faith, teaching me the truth and setting me free from fear and hopelessness. In the process, He has taught me to–

  • Wait on Him. Wait and listen. In waiting, I learned His heart for people and circumstances. In listening, I learned to cooperate with Him as I prayed.
  • Pray and profess His promises. Praying his promises back to Him are punctuated with His resounding “Yes!” By saying those promises back to Him in faith, He rebuilt my faith in Him.  

What did Jesus want to say about my unanswered bold prayer?

So, I asked Him. “What do you want to say about that unanswered prayer?” Then, in tears, I waited, listening for His response.

The quiet response came. “You only see a sliver. I see the whole.” I pictured myself peeking through a window with partially closed curtains into a room from the outside. I could only glimpse a sliver of light and activity inside that room. Then, I pictured Jesus, above the house, overseeing every room and closet. He could be trusted with my bold prayer. 

Learning to Listen to Jesus & Wait on Him


I’ve written two short books to encourage listening to Jesus and waiting on Him. They read like a 30-day devotional style book that teaches a biblical truth like a bible study. You can find them here. Email me and I’ll send you a sample chapter of Surrendered


                          Stay rooted in faith.

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Daily, the power of stories amazes me–moves me, shapes me–an ordinary wife, mom, teacher, writer, Jesus-follower.

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