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My Thoughts on Unanswered Prayer & Infertility

Lesli_007-2

I’m a Christian, I read my Bible and I pray. I am good person and I do good to others. Why doesn’t God answer my prayer for a baby?”

Have you ever thought this? I know I have.

Many of us have wrestled with infertility and unanswered prayer. In fact, last year I received an email from a precious gal asking my thoughts on the subject. 



She wrote in her email…

I have a thought-question to throw out there. I have been struggling with “unanswered prayer” with infertility. My pastor did a sermon few months ago about this and his 5 reasons for unanswered prayer are:
1. Lack of faith, 2. Unconfessed sin, 3. Wrong motives, 4. Not abiding, 5. Perseverance  My husband and I went over each one and heavily discussed them. We struggle with these and wondered what others in our same boat feel about this subject? Do you have thoughts on this to share and can you possibly post this on Dancing Upon Barren Land Website to get responses? 



Thanks,
(insert name here)
_____________

Today’s post is rather lengthy. It includes my response to her “thought-questions.” She asked me to post my thoughts on the website, here they are! Granted I’m not an expert. I’m just a gal like you who’s been on a similar road of infertility.

As I wrote this as a personal letter (email) to her. I pray you’ll sense this post, the scripture, the encouragement and the love as being from my heart to yours – as being a personal letter to you too.

I know the struggle is hard. I know the struggle is real. I’m praying for you. Hang in there. God’s got this because He holds you in the palm of His hands. (Isa. 49:16)

If you have thoughts on unanswered prayer and infertility I’d love for you to leave a comment. 

Love,
Lesli

_____________

Dearest (insert name here),

Thanks so much for your patience with me as it has taken me a while to respond to your questions. I really wanted to sit on it for a while.


— I KNOW how challenging and heartwrenching this infertility journey can be. And I know how it can be a challenge in our Christian walk and belief in God too. As you mentioned you are asking me for “my thoughts” and that is just what it is “my thoughts and opinions” on your questions. Hopefully, what I’ve written here might shed some light, perhaps give you a sense of freedom that the answer to prayer DOES NOT rest entirely on your shoulders.

I’m glad you and your husband were able to heavily discuss the topics your pastor presented. That is so good to be able to communicate together. I can understand your struggle with each of these topics. At the first quick glance of your email honestly, my first thoughts were, most of the topics, if not all of them are conditional. Meaning it is something YOU HAD to DO in order to have answered prayer. 


So, where is the grace in all of these?

Grace’s definition is “unmerited favor”. It is something we didn’t do to earn it. It is something He did for us on the Cross. Think about the men and women of the Old Testament. They sinned, and sinned greatly. Moses committed murder, David was an adulterer, Jacob a schemer, Sarah, jealous and cruel. Yet God heard them, delivered them and answered their prayers.

Now, I believe we have to realize, like the people I mentioned above, and for us, we pray one way for a thing, but God gives us the answer in a different way. He and it seems as if He gives the answer at a different time slot than we prescribe to Him in prayer. 



That’s the mystery of God.

Another thing, God, our Father is crazy in love with us! And just like crazy love between a husband and wife. You want and DESIRE to do anything and BE EVERYTHING for your spouse. I strongly feel God feels that way about us. 🙂

I DO BELIEVE we can’t live like crazy women of the world. I DO BELIEVE we need to obey His commands (which aren’t hard) and abide in Him. To love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as the Word says. That’s scriptural.

I took your topics and looked up some scripture and jotted down some thoughts. I pray you’ll look over them, think on them and come to a sense of freedom and release of any work or doing on your part to receive an answer to prayer.

I want to encourage you to just pray the Lord’s prayer. (Matthew 6) After all, that’s how He told us to pray, right? Giving thanks and praise for His answer, in His way and in His time.

Lack of faith: “And all these things you ask in prayer, believing , you shall receive.” Matthew 21:22

Do you think you’d really pray about something and to someone you didn’t believe in? Think about it. When asking for a baby, don’t you believe God can do it? If not, you wouldn’t even ask Him would you? What do you feel is lacking in faith, in prayer on your part? What does that look like to you?




In Mark 9:24, the father with the boy of the unclean spirit encountered Jesus. Jesus said in verse 23, “IF you can, All things are possible to him who believes.” And the father replied, “I do believe. Help my lack of faith.” God’s Word Translation

Even though the father “professed” belief, because of the great love for his son and his need for his son to be set free from the unclean spirit, the father said to Jesus, “Help my unbelief.” Jesus did not rebuke him for his confession of unbelief. In fact, Jesus didn’t say a word about it. Jesus just set the boy free! Sometimes I think WE THINK Jesus is making a list of every little thing WE THINK is doubt or lack of faith. I believe we pay more attention to it than He does. After all, look at the scripture above. God is our loving, GIVING FATHER and He wants to do for us and give to us. We just need to rest in that.

Unconfessed Sin: “If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God who has not turned away my prayer, Nor His lovingkindness from me. Psalm 66:19-20

Sure, God loves righteousness and is displeased with any wickedness and sin. But you are follower of the Lord and if you’ve confessed your sins, His Grace, mercy and His blood covers your sins. In fact, “God throws them as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Ps. 103:12 What I love about the Psalm 66 scripture is that He gives heed to voice of our prayers even after we’ve confessed to Him.

Wrong Motives: “You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3

Now, is asking for a baby, “Spending it on your pleasures?” Uh..no! The Bible in the first few chapters in Genesis gives the command, “Be fruitful and multiply.” If God gives us the command to be fruitful and if we ask to be fruitful in our wombs or any other area of our life for that matter, is that really asking with wrong motives?

Not Abiding: “And this commandment that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and he in him. And we know by this that He abides in us,by the Spirit whom He has given us.” 1 John 3:23-24

Is praying not abiding? Is attending church not abiding? Is reading the Bible not abiding? Is thinking about God not abiding? Really, what else can we do to abide in Him? What I love about this scripture is that HE ABIDES IN US! How awesome is that? Just knowing this should release us from any condemnation we feel about not abiding in Him.

Perseverance: “For whatever is written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God WHO GIVES PERSEVERANCE and ENCOURAGEMENT grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:4-5 



Now, the context of this scripture in Romans from the Apostle Paul is related to self denial on behalf others so I don’t know how much it relates to unanswered prayer. HOWEVER, what I love about this scripture is that it says God GIVES us perseverance and encouragement. Truly, all that we are is from Him. All that we ever hope to be or to have comes from Him.

I think the best advice or thought I could leave you with is this…

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith. For the joy set before him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right had of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

So, how about if WE THROW OUT every list and preconceived idea about unanswered prayer or how to get prayers answered? How about we fix our eyes on Jesus?

Recently, I heard a pastor say, “God is the author of your story.” (Insert name here), God is writing your story, He is the author of the “Once Upon a Time”. He’s scripted every day of your life until the last page, “The End”. I know it may seem like you’ve been stuck on the same page. No force of wind or effort seems if the page is even rustling. But I want to encourage you as I encourage myself. Let’s trust Him! Let’s just rest in His goodness. Let’s continue to ask Him and thank Him for the answered prayer – in His way and in His time.

I hope what I’ve written has uplifted you and brought encouragement your way!

I love you with the love of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Lesli

 

 

Leave a comment

Angela

Thank you for this post Lesli, I so agree with what you have concluded, that we fix our eyes on Jesus. So often I have heard a sermon or something someone has said that has left me in condemnation about my unanswered prayer for a baby. Then I remind myself that God loves me and that God is sovereign and that God sent Jesus to save me. And like you said Lesli, I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. Jesus loves me and he has a plan for my life, a plan that may not look like the plan I had imagined, but he still has a plan and by keeping my eyes on him I am able to perservere and see his plan for my life. I am able to be still and know that he is God.

Lesli Westfall

Amen, Angela! I’m so glad this little post, my thoughts and scripture reminded you of how GOOD God is. I miss interacting with you. I love seeing your posts on FB. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

Love,
Lesli