Yesterday I was at a conference and heard Bill Johnson teach on unanswered prayer. You may have seen several of the quotes I posted on Twitter. I am still pondering several things he said, but I was left encouraged to go after more in prayer. Here are some notes from yesterday:
Jesus Had No Unanswered Prayer
“Jesus has no teaching on unanswered prayer because He has no experience with it.”
Jesus lived the perfect life. He only did what He saw His father do (John 5:19).
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He prayed. It was not to ask God to raise Lazarus, but it was to thank God that He always hears what He prays (John 11:41-42).
Jesus expected His prayers to be answered. This may be a new way of wording Jesus’ relationship with unanswered prayer, but we can accept if anyone could do it, He did.
Jesus Wants Us To Have No Unanswered Prayer
“We owe the world around us answers to prayer.”
Jesus said that we can do greater things than He did (John 14:12). Four times in the Gospel of John, Jesus says He would do whatever we ask (John 14:13; 15:7; 15:16; 16:23).
Jesus seems to want our expectation to be that all our prayers will go answered.
The Disciples Expected to Have No Unanswered Prayer
“We are surprised when our prayers are answered; Jesus’ disciples were surprised when their prayers were not.”
When Jesus came down from the mountain after the encounter with Moses and Elijah, a man comes to him because his son had demons who would come on him and do harm. He had taken his son first to Jesus’ disciples, but they could not do anything.
After Jesus healed the boy, his disciples took Him aside and asked why they were not able to do it (Matthew 17:19).
The expectation they had after being with Jesus was that they would not have any unanswered prayers.
The Church Accepts Unanswered Prayer
“We create doctrines to explain why we don’t experience what Jesus told us to expect.”
Bill Johnson didn’t say all of his prayers went answered. In fact, he explained how his father died of cancer and how he had prayed long and hard for his healing.
In dealing with unanswered prayer, we have a choice whether we want to settle with what we are currently experiencing or to continue to push forward to live in all that Jesus has offered us.
Faith is the determined belief in what God said over what we see happening around us.
Question Your Unanswered Prayer
“Sometimes through persistence in prayer, we find out we need to change how we are praying.”
Since we are still learning, we shouldn’t let unanswered prayer discourage us.
Sometimes we fear questioning God. But as long as we keep our hearts in focused on maintaining relationship, the questions will only bring us closer.
“Questions asked in trust lead to revelation; questions asked in distrust lead to separation.”
Allow Unanswered Prayer Motivate You
I am still processing a lot of this. But, I found it very encouraging, and I hope you do too. I would love to hear your thoughts. Did you find this encouraging? What would you add?
I hope you have a great week and continue to grow in your prayers.