Why is God not Answering my Prayers?
Lysa TerKeurst | August 31, 2018
If you have ever woken up in the morning wondering where God is, then you’re not alone. There may be times where you feel as if you’re walking in obedience, yet God feels distant, as if He’s ignoring your prayers, and observing your steps instead of being in them.
One morning, Lysa TerKeurst found herself in this exact position, confused and in pain. She had been through two years of trials, repeatedly lifting her prayers to God, but not seeing Him answer with help. Or so she thought.
Watch the video below to see how God often uses our hurt and His perfect timing to answer our most painful prayers.
Prefer to read rather than watch? Here’s the transcript to Lysa’s talk:
And I even questioned the Lord during this two full years. Lord, is it because I'm in ministry that all these hard things keep happening to me? And I hear that a lot. I hear people say a lot, like, well, it shouldn't surprise you, your ministry is so effective, of course the enemy would want to come against and attack you, and all that. I do believe the enemy attacks us.
But what the Lord spoke to me was something a little bit different. You see, the Lord spoke to me, Lysa, I saw what was coming in your life before you were even formed, and I made sure you were positioned in ministry so that you could be at the right place at the right time, and I could leave you, and shepherd you, and surround you with people who would be there for you. I don't know that I'm in ministry, therefore I got attacked. I think God saw the attack, and therefore he placed me in ministry.
And maybe the same is true for you. So, two full years is a real long time. And a lot of that hardship on me took a lot of toll on my body, and one morning a couple of summers ago, I woke up, and I was in so much pain, I was in excruciating pain. I stepped out of my bed, and the weight of my body made me collapse, and I screamed out, and said, "I think I'm dying." My family rushed me to the hospital, and they kept me in the hospital not because they could find something wrong with me, they kept running tests and they couldn't find anything wrong with me, but they kept me in the hospital because I was in so much pain. And the pain was just completely overwhelming, so they admitted me to the hospital, and they put me on all kinds of pain medication, and eventually a morphine pump. But even the morphine pump did not touch the pain that I was in.
And I started to have a real complicated view of God, because there was what I was seeing. And when you're in a lot of pain, what you see can completely overshadow, and make you forget that there's always a meanwhile,. There's what we see, and then there's what God is doing, but pain can make you forget that God is really there, especially when you know God is so big, and so powerful and mighty, there's nothing your God cannot do. You know it, so why isn't he doing it for you?
That gets real complicated, and maybe some of you today are sitting here saying, "Well, that's awesome, Lisa, that you wrote a book that hit the New York Times list. That's awesome, Craig, that you've got the largest church in America. That's awesome, Chris, that you've got so many locations and so many people coming to your church. That's awesome."
But I've been praying, I've been faithfully serving, I've been doing all the stuff. I was in the hospital, and I was like, okay, God, where are you now? Where are you now? I'm real confused, because I'm crying out for you to help me, and you haven't helped me, and I'm in so much pain. Like, if one of my children were in this much pain, I would do everything possible as a parent to help them and get them out of pain, so God, why aren't you doing that for me? And I started to develop a real wonky view, like, God was standing off to the side, watching me suffer, and not caring for some reason.
Maybe some of you feel like God is sort of standing off watching you suffer in a situation, and you've prayed, and prayed, and prayed, you've done all the right stuff. You've read your bible, you don't cuss, you listen to Christian music. It's like, you come to the conferences, like, you're doing all the stuff, so where is God?
I laid there in pain Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning the surgeon came into my room, he ran one last test, and he said, "Lisa, we know what's wrong wit you. Finally, we've discovered the problem. The right side of your colon ripped away from the abdominal wall, it wrapped itself around the left side of your colon. It's cutting the blood flow off inside of you. We couldn't see it on all the other tests, but if we don't rush you into emergency surgery right, your colon will rupture, your body will turn septic, and you will die."
He said, "I am so thankful that you were in enough pain that it forced you to stay at the hospital, because if you wouldn't have stayed at the hospital, you would probably not have lived through this next weekend." Well, now, I have a completely different view of God. Right? God wasn't standing back going, well, I'm sorry, this is life on earth, like, deal with your pain, I've got some pretty big stuff over in the Middle East to deal with. That is not what God was doing, right?
Listen to me here. I know two years is a long time, and maybe for you, your season of hardship, your season of complication, your season of ministry not going up into the right, or business not going. I know it can be a long time. But what God taught me in that hospital room, is that had God answered my prayer in my timing, I would be dead. God loves us too much to answer our prayers at any other time than the right time, and in any other way than the right way.