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Unanswered Prayers

Unanswered Prayers

It’s easy to slip into the mentality that we somehow fell through the cracks of God’s good plans.

Things are too final. The ink is too dry. The page has been turned. Their heart is too hard. Your heart is too hurt. The doctors have said impossible. The account is too bankrupt. The biological clock has run out. One hard thing just gives way to another hard thing, and then more hard things. And there’s just been one too many days full of unanswered prayers.

But the truth is, God is closer than we often realize.

He sees things we don’t see, and He knows things we don’t know. He has a perspective from where He sits that allows Him to see all things — the past, the present, and the future — from the day we are conceived to the day we return to dust and even beyond that into eternity.

Listen to Me… you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. I will sustain you and I will rescue you… I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill My purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do. — Isaiah 46:3–4, Isaiah 46:9–11

This was true for the Israelites. And it’s true for us. For them, the news that they would be in captivity for seventy years was absolute reality. But the truth that God had a good plan and a purpose not to harm them but to give them a future and a hope — that promise was very much in process all the while they were in captivity.

This is how we, too, can surrender the weight of our long-suffering journeys to God: by having a higher perspective in our present realities. The seemingly impossible work of redemption is always possible with God. In other words, we need to remember the difference between news and truth.

News comes at us to tell us what we are dealing with.

Truth comes from God and then helps us process all we are dealing with.

News and truth aren’t always one and the same.

My sweet friend Shaunti Feldhahn reminded me of this a few years ago. An e-mail she sent me about a difficulty I was walking through said, “Lysa, this is news. This is not truth.”

What the doctor gave me was news. Honest news based on test results and medical facts.

But what I have access to is a truth that transcends news. The restoration that is impossible with man’s limitations is always possible for a limitless God.

Truth is what factors God into the equation.

I find myself looking at the word impossible a little differently today.

Impossible, when looked at in light of Shaunti’s note, could be completely different if I just stuck a little apostrophe between the first two letters. Then it becomes I’m-Possible. God is the great I AM. Therefore, He is my possibility for hope and healing.

I’m-Possible is a much more comforting way to look at anything that feels quite impossible — anything that feels like it’s too much for me to handle. Instead of saying God won’t give me more than I can handle, maybe I can just simply say, “God’s got a handle on all I’m facing.”

I suspect many of us have things in our lives that feel impossible. Maybe you just got some bad news. News of an impossible financial situation. News of an impossible job situation. News of an impossible kid situation. News of an impossible friend situation. News of an impossible medical situation.

Whatever news you just got or will get, I pray Shaunti’s advice helps you too.

That is news. And this is God’s Truth:


I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. — John 14:6


He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them — He remains faithful forever. — Psalm 146:6


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10


Yet I am always with you; you hold Me by My right hand. — (Psalm 73:23)


You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. — Psalm 32:7

One of the greatest comforts to me through all this has been knowing that somehow God will use it for good. And that God will be my possible in the midst of what can sometimes feel so impossible.

Of course, I still have those less spiritually secure moments when the broken pieces seem to be piling up too high and I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. And cry. And pitch a little hissy fit.

But how thankful I am for the Great I AM. The One who will absolutely guide me in truth and teach me, the One I put my hope in all day long (Psalm 25:5). Yes, He can handle all the things I know I can’t, and I trust Him to take my broken and make it beautiful.

Excerpted with permission from It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.

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Your Turn

Do you have unanswered prayers today? Do you think you may have fallen through the cracks with God? That your circumstances are impossible? God can and will make your broken beautiful. Trust Him! Come share your thoughts with us on the blog. We want to hear from you!

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