Prayer–When It Doesn’t Work

By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain


I’ve been praying like a fury–for good things, things according to God’s desires. I hang onto the verse: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” 1 John 5:14. Then what is needed, what I prayed for according to God’s will, never happens.


These prayers could be for the salvation of a loved one or the healing of a sick child. Those things can be documented as God’s will (1 Tim. 2:4 and James 5:14 respectively). I can understand why He hasn’t answered my repeated, earnest plea to be a number one best selling author–or a seller of a book or two. This exalts me, not Him. I do have a hard time with some of the other issues.

Over the next month, we’ll explore the concept of prayer.

God has given us free will.

For now, the first thing I believe we need to understand that one of the greatest gifts God has given us is our free will. If we’d been made automatons, we’d have no personal choice. As little computer programs, we’d have to perform according to our code. As it is, God allows us our own convictions. We can do good or evil–it’s our choice. We pick the way we want to spend our Sundays–in a church that suits our tastes or sleeping off our Saturday night party. Eating healthy or all you can eat buffets. We are free.

So with my first prayer, with my plea for salvation for those I love, God sets in motion actions I don’t see that prepare my loved ones to accept God’s free gift of heaven and a life redeemed from hell, both here on earth and for eternity. If the recipients of my prayer continue to desire a sensual life over a spiritual, God will not intervene in their choices.

It’s hard for me to watch.

It’s got to be harder on God.

God will not force us to do what we don’t want to do.

We do have the assurance of Jer. 31:3, “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”” Whether I’m a godly, tithe-paying, hard working servant of Christ or an addict, whether I’m the best heterosexual spouse or a transgendered woman, God loves me. He loves me so much, He allows me to choose the life I want.

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  1. My tᥙrn, my turn.? Larry said eagerly wiggling to get a chance tt᧐
    talk. ?I think the perfect factor about God
    is tha he can beat ᥙp the satan as a result of the satan is horrifying annd mean aand ugly and dangerous and God can beat him up so the devil can?t hurft us like he ddid these demon crammed people in Jеsus day.

  2. Vera says:

    I just finisd a book “praying though life problems” it gave me a reinsurents that God wants to hear from us.
    I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your work with with us

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