Unanswered Prayer

C. Michael Hager

Unanswered Prayers

A song by Pat Alger, Larry B. Bastian, Garth Brooks
Performed by Garth Brooks on his “No Fences” album

Just the other night at a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I’d wanted for all time
And each night I’d spend prayin’ that God would make her mine
And if he’d only grant me this wish I wished back then
I’d never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when your talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn’t quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me in her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days there wasn’t much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he’s doin’ after all

And as I walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life.

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered…
Some of Gods greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of Gods greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

Does God answer our prayers? Sometimes, we think, and sometimes not… Why would he pick and choose when to answer and when to not? Maybe it’s not him who decides… maybe it’s us. Maybe it’s what we pray for and how we ask. Maybe we need to learn that life doesn’t revolve around us, it revolves around him. And maybe he knows what’s really best for us in the long run. Even if it’s not what we want or asked for.

What do you ask for when you pray? For a new car? A fat paycheck? Could I just win that lottery draw this weekend… I’ll never ask for anything again if you just let me win… when you didn’t get even one of the six numbers and someone in Tampa won the whole thirty two million dollars, is it because God didn’t answer your prayer? I don’t think so. It’s because you didn’t listen to the answer.. God simply said “No.”

When you prayed and asked for the winning numbers, did you also take the time to thank him for all your blessings? Did you thank him for giving you another day on this earth? Did you thank him for giving you the advantage of attending a top university? Did you thank him for your friends and family? After you broke up with that special boyfriend or girlfriend, did you thank God for the good times and the fun things you did with that person? Or were you mad at him for the pain you felt? And even if you recently lost a loved one… did you thank God for letting you be a part of that person’s life for the short time you had together?

Did you ask God for forgiveness for the sins you have committed? He answered that prayer. He gave you life for another day, sunshine, flowers, clouds, even on a rainy day, he gave you the diamond sparkle of the raindrops on the leaves and if you listened, you heard that he said “Yes.. you are forgiven”… if you asked.

Sometimes a prayer is like therapy… you pray. You ask, you give thanks, you talk to God about your problems and suddenly you think…”Oh, I know what I should do now… I know how to solve that problem.” You don’t think that was an answer from God?. Then why did you pray to him? He knows, he hears and he answers…

What do I pray for? Every day I pray for God to watch over my family, spread out all around the world. Keep my children safe. Give them strength to make it through their day. Give them good friends and happy times, Lord knows life is rough before it gets easy. Comfort my wife and bring peace to her heart. Make her happy and bring her friends. Protect my oldest son in his politically contentious job. Watch over my daughter in Los Angeles. Protect my youngest son as he patrols the Persian Gulf in his small heavily armed boat. Watch over my grandchildren and help them learn to lead healthy and moral lives. And most of all, I thank God every day that I have healthy, moral, children to raise their children in like manner, and I thank him for my wife, their mother and grandmother, who loves her family unconditionally and makes me proud every day to be a husband and, father and grandfather.

Some say “Life’s a bitch and then you die.” But only if you make it that way. Life isn’t easy, but if you pray, then take the time to listen closely for the answer, even if it’s not the answer you hoped for, you’ll hear it. And if you take the time to try and understand why God answered the way he did, you’ll have something more to be thankful for. And you’ll discover that life is pretty good after all. And then you’ll die, but that won’t be so bad either, because if you spent your life praying and listening to the answers, you’ll know that in the end will be the answer to the greatest prayer of all.

Michael Hager