Resources and Scriptures from “Living On The Other Side of Unanswered Prayer” message

God Responds to Prayer

Matthew 7:7-8

 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Psalm 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.

Mark 11:24

 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours

Psalm 118:21

I thank you for answering my prayerand giving me victory!

1Samuel 1:27

I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.

Psalm 66:19

But God did listen!He paid attention to my prayer.

1John 5:14-15

 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for

John 15:7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!  

Hindrances to Prayer

God is faithful! He desires to answer all our prayer because it brings Him glory.

Matthew 7:7-11“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Looking at this verse, we can see that God responds when we pray. Asking is understanding our humility and dependenceon God. Seeking is purposefully searchingfor something. And knocking is the idea of persistence. In all three cases, Jesus says there will be a response. Meaning God always hears us when we pray, He always answers the prayer of the saints. When we ask in faith, we expect God to respond.

However, not all our prayers get answered due to the sin of man. This does not mean that when a prayer request is not answered in a way we want that there is something wrong. But it’s always important to check your heart.

Jeremiah 7:9-16 “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.“‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’ “So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.

Below are examples of hindrances of prayer. 

  • Lack of knowledge 

Isaiah 5:13: Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.

Hosea 4:6: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge

  • Unforgiveness

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

  • Selfish Motives

James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

  • Doubt and unbelief

James 1:5-7… If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.

Matt 13:54-58… And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, And Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? where then did this Man get all these things?” So, they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” And He did not do many might works there because of their unbelief.

  • God warns husbands

1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

  • Disobedience 

Proverbs 28:9…One who turns his ear away from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be an abomination.

Zechariah 7:11-13…But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. Yes they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of Hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets….Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not here, so they called out and would not listen, says the Lord of hosts.

  • Pride

Job 35:12-13 There they cry out, but He does not answer, Because of the pride of evil men. Surely God will not listen to empty talk,Nor will the Almighty regard it.

  • Shutting ears to the poor

Proverbs 21:13 Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.

Other Hinderances to Prayer

  • The Devil is a liar and the father of lies.  John 8:44
  • The devils come to steal, kill and destroy your life.  God comes to give you life and life more abundantly.   John 10:10
  • Daniel 10 – The devil holds up Daniel’s answer to prayer for 21 days.  

Lack of understanding of our dominion and authority that we have been given as followers of Christ.  

  1. Matthew 10:1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.
  • Luke 10:19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.
  • Mark 16:17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages
  • Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make human beingsin our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth,[b] and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”
  • Psalm 8:6 You gave them charge of everything you made,putting all things under their authority—

Resources for further reading

“Praying With Power and Authority” by Barbara Potts

“Finding Victory When Healing Doesn’t Happen” Randy Clark

“The Courts of Heaven” by Robert Henderson

Steps to Your Healing Journey

  1. Make the CHOICE: I am moving forward.
  2. Don’t try to go through this alone. Remember the power of “us.”
  3. Learn to worship in the presence of your enemies.
  4. Learn to stand and say, “I trust you, Lord.”

Stories from the Unanswered Prayer Message

Gary Peterson

Gary prayed for his wife Alice’s physical healing for years. We did not see that here on earth.

Gary says, “I truly believe that she was completely healed when she went to be with Jesus. Healed from all sickness, pain, hurt and the cares of this world.

“I know God’s plan is higher than our plans or desires. 

“I would not ask for Alice to come back to this fallen world for one minute. Not even to tell her I love her and to hold her in my arms one more time. That would be so selfish on my part and then I would have to say goodbye all over again.  

“I know that one day I will join her in heaven. What a glorious day that will be. I believe that we do have an appointed time to die and December 21, 2018 was Alice’s time. Yes, it really hurts, it will really hurt at times. 

“I have seen and felt God’s love in so many ways. He has answered many prayers, at times different than what I thought was the right way. I TRUST HIM.

“There is one verse that I stand on. It’s psalm 118:24: ‘This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.’”

Today, Gary is preparing to co-lead Grief Share. He has been ministering to 4 of his neighbors since Alice went home to be with Jesus in December. He has been able to comfort those who mourn. 

He has been able to share the love of Jesus Christ with those who live near him.

Gary is not bitter; he is better, and living faithfully on the other side of unanswered prayer.

Jan Ruiz

Jan prayed with Robert for years for his physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. He went home to be with Jesus in a season when everything seemed to be going well. It was a complete shock to Jan. At the hospital Jan said, “I am happy for him, but it stinks for me.” 

Jan said, “I didn’t want my kids and grands to lose Grandpa andGrandma, so I had to make a choice to engage with the living and live today.”

Jan had to acknowledge her disappointment in the situation. She had to acknowledge that Robert’s death was not what she had hoped or dreamed of. Slowly, a new hope and dream emerged of what the future might hold. “I had to give myself time to process and heal. I would extend grace to anyone else, I had to learn to give myself grace,” Jan said. “I had to learn that it’s okay to not be okay. To not pretend everything is great when it’s not. Healing happens as we’re honest about where we’re at. I had to be honest about how I felt whether it was sad, happy, angry, or discouraged. God already knew and He was morethan willing and available to wrap His arms around me and comfort me. He wants all my heart, my open honesty with Him.

“I read and re-read His promises, they’re for real. Once we can see past the pain we can see a glimpse of what He has in store. I can’t live in the past and I can’t live hurting this much forever. Moving forward does not mean forgetting—it is embracing that I’m still here and there must be a reason. Try new things. Hang on to Him as if my life depends on it—because it does! Even when I can’t see Him or feel Him, I hang on!

“I didn’t want being a widow to be my identity—it’s something that happened but it is not who I am. I made a CHOICE that I would be whole and continue to serve Him. And then I made steps in that direction: getting help through GriefShare, getting involved, reading the Word, re-engaging with the outside world, doing things I enjoy. It’s not enough to say I want to be whole—I have to make choices that will bring me closer to where He wants me to be. Sometimes those steps look like baby steps but that’s ok—as long as they are leading me closer to what He has planned for the rest of my life.”

Today, Jan has ministered to many people with the love of Jesus Christ after the loss of a spouse, family member, or friend. She is leading Grief Share and doing an outstanding job.

Jan has not allowed the pain of loss and unanswered prayer to make her bitter, she is better. 

Both Jan and Gary have learned to live with an eternal perspective that God’s ways are higher than our ways. 

John and Sharon Atwell

John and Sharon lost their infant son Benjamin to SIDS. 

Sharon said at Benjamin’s departure, “Though He slay me, yet will I praise Him.” Those of you who know Sharon know her deep joy for the Lord and for others and how she has continued to praise Him. 

John and Sharon have spent many years helping families through the SIDS foundation. They have loved people in their pain and loss. 

They have truly comforted others with the comfort they have received from Jesus. 

Nick and Kassie Mayo

“We struggled with the heartache of infertility for 12 years. Day in and day out we cried out to God asking for healing to conceive naturally. The answer never came, and yet we still had to believe that God knew what He was doing. What else could we do? Give up? Get a divorce? Turn to substances? We decided to change our prayer and began to pray that He would be our provider and provide the money to try IVF or adopt. We went through three rounds of hormone treatments when normally it should have been one. It was so hard to trust God during that time—we were so close! Finally, we conceived our daughter Eloise. Since then we believed that if He did it once, He could do it again! We tried two more times, got pregnant, but lost both babies. Those were the darkest days of our lives. 

“It was during those two years that God began showing us how many other couples were going through some of the same things we were. Friends started reaching out and asking us questions on how to help their friends and it was during one of these God-ordained encounters that I met someone who introduced me to a non-profit called Conceive Nebraska. They help couples dealing with infertility by providing free resources and education opportunities as well as providing an on-line community where they can feel somewhat ‘normal.’ Right away, I began feeling God reminding me of verses in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5-and how He comforts us so that we in turn could comfort others. I also remembered a message where Pastor Jason had said to serve where you hurt. I became a board member of Conceive Nebraska and now reside as president.

“Through all this I can say that while I had no idea where God’s story for my life was going to go and my faith wavered every now and then, He was always there fighting for us, providing opportunities to show others His love, and paving the way to use us for ministry.”

Jerry and Pat Keller

Jerry and Pat’s daughter Jill was their one child who had the deepest and sincerest conscience about sin. Every time she did something wrong, she would tell on herself.

But when she was older, she found herself in trouble with the law. She was arrested and faced time in jail. Pat and Jerry turned to others for prayer and support. 

There were many times people would say things that may have been true, but they were not ready to hear. Pastor Dobie began to pray for them because he saw a picture in the spirit that they were going to have an empty chair at Christmas. They found themselves upset about that prayer, but it was true. They were in denial. They did not want to receive any of it.

Jill was not at the holiday table that year and was gone from the family for two years. That Christmas, Chaplin Morris Jackson made a way for the family to contact her so they could at least talk with her on Christmas. 

Jill was on suicide watch that Christmas. She would say today that it was the best Christmas ever because it was just her and Jesus.

When this ordeal happened the first thing the Kellers did was surround themselves with people who prayed. They learned a lot about helping others and the power of prayer.

Their prayers were not answered when they wanted or how they wanted, but God has done so many great things in them and for others through their story.

Since that time Pat and Jerry have been involved in Jail Ministry. They supported Good News Jail and Prison Ministry by purchasing tables at their annual banquet. They have helped the men at Teen Challenge as well as women at New Hope Life for Women. They have had men and women work at their fireworks tents to help them get back on their feet. Pat has taught deliverance and ministered deliverance to many that have been held captive. Pat leads the Praying Mom’s small group. Jerry and Pat have both mentored many men and women during and after this ordeal. Their life consisted of keeping themselves available for prayer for others and helping them trust God even when the answer was unseen. 

Today, Jill is married and a licensed counselor. God gave her incredible favor to attend Grace University to receive her master’s in counseling. She is helping others with the same things that she struggled with. 

Pat and Jerry helped Pastor Chris and Clyde when they went through a season of fire with their daughter. They would tell us “you cannot go wrong with love.” 

Pat and Jerry came out of the other side better and full of faith in Jesus. 

Clyde and Chris Ford

Now, here is our story.

12 years ago, my daughter started down a very difficult path for her dad and I to comprehend. She had been nearly the most perfect child and now she didn’t want the label of being a “good girl.”

I was tormented day and night by the enemy. I was supposed to be the prayer director and later the prayer pastor, and here I could not even get my own prayer answered. I felt like I could not even pray my own child out of hell. how could I help others? I was a real mess for about 3 years.

Then one Sunday morning I was sitting in the back row of the balcony, broken, sick inside, and in true agony over the soul of my daughter. I could not stop crying, I couldn’t stand, and I couldn’t worship. I felt crippled. 

The Lord spoke to me and said, ‘Stand and praise Me.’ I couldn’t do it. I absolutely could not do it.

I was angry at my daughter, very disappointed, almost to the point of anger with the Lord because this had gone on a couple of years and I didn’t see an answer to my prayer. I thought, “God, do you know all the things I have done for You? How can I stand and praise?”

Before I knew it, I was standing and starting to sing praises to the Lord. It was truly supernatural. I had nothing in me left to do it. This was the turning point for me.

There was a spontaneous altar call right in the middle of worship. I thought, “I need prayer!” I also thought, “What will people think?”

I didn’t care…I went. When I got to the altar, there were so many people at the altar I didn’t get prayer and I ended up praying for a mother that needed double what I did.

Even though I didn’t get prayer, God met me. He met me when I prayed and ministered to others in my same condition.

I walked away from that altar TRANSFORMED. I began to worship in the presence of my enemies. I learned to praise Him in the storm.

My daughter didn’t return to the Lord or the family for another 10 years, BUT GOD WAS SO FAITHFUL. I LEARNED HOW TO PRAY AND HOW TO REALLY LOVE THE LOST IN THAT SEASON.

I thought I knew how to pray before. I didn’t know anything.

I learned how to love people who were going through pain. 

I learned my authority in Christ.

I learned how to use the sword of the Word of God.

I learned how to stand upon the promises of God’s Word and not let them depart from my mouth.

I have my daughter back. I have a beautiful, fun, cuddly, spunky granddaughter that is our double portion blessing and we have Louie in our life as well. He is now a follower of Jesus.

We received double for our trouble. Isaiah 61:7 says, “Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion hey shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore, in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”