The Protection of an Unanswered Prayer

“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered pra-a-a-ayers.”
And sometimes when a country singer is right, they’re just plain right
(thanks, Garth – and thanks, country music stage back in the 90s).

Isn’t it just the truth though? I mean, you can probably look back over your life and pinpoint areas where He most definitely had His hand on you and saved you from some doozies… but do you ever think about the things you don’t even know He saved you from?

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Once, I was at a church service where this point was driven home to me in such a powerful way. We were singing this song : “You, O Lord, are a shield about me. You’re my glory and the lifter of my head…” As I was singing, my brain couldn’t help but form the following picture: as I knelt before the Lord (a fitting posture of reverence to Him and submission to His plan – this would be important), He provided a thick, plastic/glass-type structure that surrounded me. Encased me. It kept me from things I could see could hurt me but I also knew that it protected me from things I could not see. Things that were behind me, things that were far ahead of me, even things right in my midst.

This was coming off the whole engagement-breakup-reengagement deal. You could say I was in a pretty tender place. I needed the protection of God more than ever. And I needed Him to lift my head on those days when it just didn’t seem possible. Those days I just didn’t have the strength. Have you ever been there?

I think – no, I KNOW – that God protects us by not answering our prayers. Or at least not answering them in the way we think He should. God is gracious. It’s not that He wants to be a big cosmic fun-killer, He just wants to keep us safe…sometimes even from ourselves. Think about that the next time you’re not getting the answer you think you want. And think about this: the very fact that you’re breathing air right now means that He has saved you from something. More than that, He has saved you for something. Himself.


…protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:5

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
Psalm 3:3

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