When payer goes unanswered

Imagine if we were given everything that we ever asked for in this life. What would happen if we were literally given everything that we wanted? It probably wouldn’t take long for there to be global chaos. Our theme this year is straining toward the goal. One of the reasons we have to strain is because we are often denied and we lose a lot. If we count the losses in our life we quickly realize that life if full of losses. We lose health, loved ones, wealth, and so on.

But what happens when our prayers go unanswered? David experienced unanswered prayer. When Bathsheba gave birth to her and David’s first child, the Lord afflicted the child. “David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground” (2 Samuel 12:16 ESV). For seven days David prayed and fasted but “on the seventh day the child died” (vs. 18). David’s servants were afraid to break the news to him. Imagine praying all day, every day for a solid week. Imagine praying that your child gets better and then he dies.

David suspected that the child died and he asked the servants. They confirmed that the boy died. “Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped” (vs. 20). It certainly wasn’t easy to worship. I doubt David was jumping for joy. But he loved God regardless and worshiped even when his prayer was not answered. Of course we know that David’s live was blessed but it was not an easy path. David would face many very difficult years after this.