Why My Prayers Seem Unanswered
Some people pray and pray never feeling like God answered their prayers. Sometimes it is hard to be open to all responses to your prayers. Perhaps the answer isn’t what you asked for because God, who loves you, and truly knows what is best for you doesn't feel what you asked for is in your best interest for the salvation of your soul. God isn’t going to give you a gift that isn’t good for you. We don’t have divine wisdom and knowledge so we truly don’t know what is best for us. Therefore, if you ask for something that wouldn't benefit your salvation and closeness with God, He isn’t going to grant you it. Not recognizing God's answer to their prayers, happens sometimes, because the answer is so far from what they were expecting (God sometimes provides very unexpected answers), they overlooked it altogether. For many people the answer will come but in time.
Many times God wants us to wait and wait patiently before He grants us our prayer requests so we can grow in greater trust in Him. Sadly for many people the prayers aren’t answered because they aren’t approaching God with a pure heart. If you approach God drowned in unrepentant sin, God can’t hear you. Well of course, technically, God hears everything. But the brick wall you built in between God and you because of your sins has reduced your ability to hear God and God’s ability (desire) to hear you. For the Bible says, “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him” (John 9:31). That is why it is very important to turn to the righteous for prayers and healing.
Many people finally hear God through the pain they are enduring. They aren’t asking God for things through selfish motives any more. They are desperately in need of God, and that is when change happens. Change is the key. God desires us to be constantly learning and changing. The knowledge of God’s plan for your life, the healing you need and awareness of your errors will be given to you by God if you believe and trust God knows what He is doing. Allow yourself to suffer, relax let go of what you want, trust whatever the affliction you are going through, is part of His plan for your salvation. You probably know, that those who pass this test (our existence on the earth is merely a test), by loving and obeying Jesus, they will enjoy eternal bliss with Him.
The Bible says to be rejoicing in hope (cf. Romans 12:12). Therefore when things seem lost, they aren't; God knows what He is doing. He allows everything to happen for our good. We just don't understand, and that is where trust comes in.
God wants us to continue to persevere in carrying our cross (the difficulties in our lives) for however long the Good Lord chooses, since all suffering is meant to unite us with Christ's suffering and is given to us for our salvation. Suffering teaches us God's blessed ways and purifies our souls. When suffering is offered up to God, in atonement (account) for our sins, our soul is purified (cf. 1 Peter 4:8). And through this act of love, it grows more beautiful on its journey towards a state of sanctification (worthiness of Heaven). We all know an impure soul can't go to Heaven...so purify your soul on earth, accept God’s will (His plan for you), and give your pain and suffering to Jesus. Doing these things will help you to shorten your time in Purgatory, a place where that same purification can happen in a much more direct, lengthy, and painful fashion. You will have used all your suffering for good on earth and the reward of a pure soul ready for Heaven we be yours (cf. Revelation 21:27).
We are also called to be devoted to prayer...not just when we think our prayers are being answered, but especially when they seem like they aren't; that is when God is calling us to Trust in Him completely. “…in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7). Also, prayer needs to be said daily, throughout your day. The more you pray, the better relationship you will have with God, and the more grace (help) God will be able to give you. So open your hearts, read the Word of God, and live it! For a closed heart can't receive the grace God wants to give you.
When we are tested by God through these trials (sufferings), He gives us great graces (rewards) for our ardent trust such as: peace, joy, love, a kind heart, an unselfish heart, happiness, patience etc... These gifts from God are everything we have always wanted. And God is very generous to those who open their hearts and trust in Him. Therefore, to be truly happy, even when life isn't perfect (and it never is), pray and trust, since all that is given (everything that happens) to you is from God. Furthermore, all suffering is according to God's holy will for you. Yes, God knows what is best. We, in our sinful state, think our way is better than God's, and God somehow must have made a mistake, or what is happening is truly too horrible to be allowed by God for our own good. But rational thought knows better. Just trust in Jesus!
If we feel like you are struggling in our faith and need help praying, God asks us to seek help from the faithful. Proverbs 15 speaks about how God especially hears the prayers of the just (the faithful), since their hearts aren't hardened the way the hearts of the less faithful are, and a hardened heart pushes God away. God is close to the faithful. Furthermore, we are all one family in Christ, and this Body of Christ is here to help console and pray for each other. So ask for Help. A truly faithful person will love to pray for and with you.
Now remember, God loves us very much, His mercy is endless, and He wants all of His children in Heaven. So if suffering is meant to bring us closer to Christ, to aid in the salvation of our souls, then rejoice in that suffering because without it we might miss the greatest gift of all: eternal life. And God, who knows best, will answer our prayers according to His will, He will help you...when it is best for you, how it is best for you, and for the salvation of your soul. Praise God!
One more thing, we are not just called to offer up our pain to purify our souls and the souls of others; we are also called to love one another, for loving each other purifies our souls from the stain of sin, and it too covers a multitude of sins (readies our soul for heaven). "Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).