understanding the mystery of unanswered prayers

understanding the mystery of unanswered prayers

There’s a beautiful old story of how one person of faith dreamed she saw three other women in prayer.

When they knelt the Lord drew near to them. As He approached the first of the three women, He bent over her with tenderness and grace. He smiled with radiant love and spoke to her in tones of pure, sweet music. Upon leaving her, He came to the next but only placed His hand upon her bowed head and gave her one look of loving approval. He passed the third woman almost abruptly, without stopping for a word or a glance. 

The woman having the dream said to herself, “How greatly He must love the first woman. The second gained His approval but did not experience the special gestures of love and tenderness He gave the first. But the third woman must have grieved Him deeply, for He gave her no word at all, nor even a passing look.” She wondered what the third woman must have done to have been treated so differently. 

As she pondered upon these actions of God, He Himself came and stood beside her. He said to her, “O dear child! How wrongly you have interpreted Me! The first kneeling woman needs the full measure of My tenderness and care to keep her feet on My narrow path. She needs Me and My love, thoughts, and help every moment of the day, for without them she would stumble into failure. 

“The second woman has stronger faith and deeper love than the first, and I can count on her to trust Me no matter how things may go or whatever people may do. Yet the third woman, whom I seemed not to notice, and even to neglect, has faith and love of the purest quality. I am training her through quick and drastic ways for the highest and holiest service. 

“She knows Me so intimately, and trusts Me so wholeheartedly, that she no longer depends on My voice, loving glances, or other external signs to know of My approval. She is not dismayed or discouraged by any circumstances and events I arrange for her to encounter. She trusts Me when common sense, reason, and even every subtle instinct of the human heart would rebel, knowing that I am preparing her for eternity, and realizing that the understanding of what I do will come later. 

“My love is silent because I love beyond the power of words to express it and beyond the understanding of the human heart. Also, it is silent for your sakes—that you may learn to love and trust Me with pure, Spirit-taught, spontaneous responses. I desire for your response to My love to be without the prompting of anything external.” 

It’s crucial that we learn the mystery of God’s silence and passivity and rather than feeling dejected and sad, praise Him every time He withdraws His gifts from us. We must have an unwavering faith that later in the future, as we look back at our present times, we’ll be able to connect the dots and appreciate the routes and detours we took to become who we were meant to be.

We must trust that God loves and cares for us and knows what’s best for us in the long haul. Through acceptance and surrender and a firm belief in the Divine Plan, we’ll equip ourselves to better know and love the Lord.