One Reason God Refuses Our Prayer

Carol McClain

We pray. Maybe fast. We ask according to God’s will, and God refuses our request. Why?

We know the pat answers. God always answers: Yes. No. Not Now.

Those pat answers don’t always salve our aching heart or our need.

An illustration of God’s wisdom in denying our request.

Pastor B officiated at my mother’s funeral and told us this testimony while we stood outside.

One time, he had to conduct a funeral. Before the time to leave for the wake, he taught a Bible study at church. When he needed to leave, a congregant delayed him with matters that needed attention. He left, finally, with just enough time to make the wake at 7:30. “Lord,” he prayed. “Let me get there on time.”

Then, in heavy traffic, he hit a red light. Another. Then the next. With each delay, he grasped his steering wheel, his fingers digging into the plastic. “Please, Lord. Let the traffic let up.” He understood the pain the family suffered. He didn’t want to add to it.

He prayed harder, and you guessed it. The traffic and the lights became worse. Seven-thirty came then went.

Finally, fifteen minutes late he arrived to a horror scene.

At about 7:30, a car careened out of control. The vehicle swerved into the parking lot of the funeral home. The driver was ejected and landed on the front steps of the home where he died.

Had God answered Pastor B’s prayer, he would’ve been in the midst of this carnage.

We Won’t Always See the Reason for the Unanswered Prayer

  1. For our good.
  2. For our safety.
  3. For God’s eternal plan.






God’s reasons are always good.

 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

When we meet Lord Jesus, the torment he saved us from through unanswered prayers would amaze us–if anything other than the glory of God could amaze us then.

Don’t fear when prayers are unanswered.

Check out a well-received blog I wrote on this.

Borrowed Lives

In this book, Meredith Jaynes lost her little girl to leukaemia–despite her prayers. The next day her husband died in an awful crash. Neither thing was easy to bear.

However, God allowed her to find three little girls and to love them to adulthood. The pain of her loss would never die. No new child or husband can replace the ones we love.

But–God worked the tragedy of her life to the joy and salvation of many other people.

Check out the book.


  1. Patricia says:

    Carol, I needed this message so bad today. I’ve been praying for several years, yes, I said years and still God is quiet. I don’t know what he’s waiting for, and it’s hard to be patient, but that’s what I’m trying to do. Hope you are well.

    • Carol McClain says:

      If you email me with the request, I can pray. Sometimes we’ll never know this side of heaven. I often think it’ll be interesting to see all the near-misses of my life because God delayed and saved me.

  2. Thank you for this heartfelt post, Carol. As the Word tells us in Isaiah 55, God’s ways are higher than our ways. He sees the big picture; we do not. Our role is simply to trust that He knows best.



    • Carol McClain says:

      That trust is sometimes not so much hard but lonely. To feel the Lord in answered prayer is divine–even when we (I especially) pray so imperfectly.

  3. Carol, your blogs always hit the spot. In this one, our need to understand God has a reason and it’s always for our benefit. Great marketing too!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.