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God didn’t answer my prayer – so I stopped praying

I don’t know where my Bible is. I stopped reading it about a year ago. I stopped reading it about the same time I stopped praying. God didn’t answer my prayer, so I stopped praying.

bible

One day I will tell you what I prayed, but not today. I still believe in Jesus and God, but I stopped believing in the power of prayer. Yes, I know, I gave up too easily. One prayer not answered, and I gave up.

On December 24th, 2015, I start praying again. I saw the movie War Room at nine o’clock on a Sunday. My church showed the movie. I wasn’t going to go. The movie sub-title is Prayer is a powerful weapon, and I thought, “Yeah, right, sure it is.” But I felt compelled to go and watch the movie.

After I saw the movie, I started to pray again. Trusting God.

Do you know where your Bible is?

I am going to go and look for my Bible now. With my stop-watch. I think it might be on a bookcase in the basement.

It was. It took me 45.41 seconds to find it.

timerfind bible

I know some of you will find your Bible within a few seconds. It is probably right beside your bed, or beside your favorite chair. And maybe some of you never read your Bible, or don’t even own one. You don’t have to have a Bible to pray.

I took notes when I watched the movie War Room, I copied down the advice Clara gave Elizabeth, and I coped the prayer Elizabeth prayed in her home.

“The thief comes to steal and destroy. The Lord is faithful, he will protect you from the evil one. Resist the devil and he will free. Plead with God and then get out of the way.”
— Clara Williams, played by Karen Abercrombie

“Jesus is the Lord of this house, get out in Jesus name. You can’t have my marriage in Jesus name. My joy is found in Jesus. Go back to hell where you belong and leave my family alone.” — Elizabeth Jordan, played by Priscilla Shirer

I came home after I saw the movie and prayed the same prayer, and I added, “You can’t have my children in Jesus name.”

 

Is Prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?

Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?
— Corrie ten Boom

I want prayer to be my first line of defense, not my last. I hate to ask for help, even from God. God wasn’t my steering wheel or my spare tire this past year. I stopped praying.

And that year where I didn’t pray or read my Bible, the song I sang as a child came to mind often. “Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”

Clara said in the movie, War Room, “Victories don’t come by accident. You have the know who the enemy is.” My prayer still hasn’t been answered, but I will never stop praying.

May you will always know how much God loves you, and may you never forget you are fearfully and wonderfully made. 

Do you believe in the power of prayer? How many seconds would it take you to find your Bible? 

As always, I love to hear from you. Please let me know how you are doing in the comments.

xo
Pamela

 

 

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Heshanmax

    In plams 145: 15-18

    “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
    and faithful in all he does.
    14 The Lord upholds all who fall
    and lifts up all who are bowed down.
    15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
    16 You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

    17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways
    and faithful in all he does.
    18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.”

  • Winnie Marylou Moyer

    Pamela….I do love your honesty and I love reading your blog. Are you praying and reading your Bible now? I have a lot of unanswered prayers, or maybe I guess prayers that were answered but not the way I asked….

  • God…
    Our relation is so complicated and so deeply that i gave up. I stopped praying, i talk with him, not every time but often. I call him Abba (dad) and i stopped asking him things, i just talk with him. The solution comes from my mind or around…God answers, always…But we are just focus in our weakness instead of enjoy the miracle of everyday life.
    Thanks Pamela for sharing this beautiful words of your intimacy…

    • Hello Tatiana,
      I am so happy to meet you. Maybe that is my problem. I was treating God like a present giver. I hardly ever talked to him except when I was in trouble.
      Last Sunday I started to read my Bible again. A read through the year plan.
      And I will try what you suggested. Enjoy the miracle of everyday life.
      I love that idea.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Beautifully written Pamela, powerful. I’ll be honest and blunt front the get go: I don’t believe in god and it’s really hard to do so when none of your prayers have been answered in a lifetime, when you see people you love struggling so much in an unfair way. After years seeking comfort, I became Buddhist, mainly because there are no gods, and you are the one responsible for your own life. No one steers my wheel but myself.

    • Hello Anne,
      Thank you for your kind words about my writing and for being honest, and thank you for taking the time to comment. I am sorry none of your prayers have been answered and that your loved ones are struggling.
      I think you are brave to steer your own wheel. I often feel like I am sitting in the back seat of my own life, if my life was a car. And often people don’t want to be responsible for their own life. Blaming others, or even God, with a big G. Which I have done.
      I don’t know that much about being a Buddhist. But, I am glad it has given you peace. I wish you all my best with your life.
      p.s. I love your drawings.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Beautiful post Pamela, honest, clear-cut, and everyone will be able to relate. All of us have had times when it seems God is silent. Attending to other prayers, we might believe as Satan whispers that to us. I appreciate your posts Pamela, you open your heart and let us inside.

    I have had a hard year as God has chosen to not answer my prayers the way I specifically wanted, but instead he has answered them in His way. He is after all God. But sometimes I try to take the lead. Thankful he knows what’s best, no matter how loudly I protest.

    • Hello Anne,
      I don’t understand why God answers some prayers and not others, or why some get answered right away, and others perhaps not in our life time.
      Right now I know I should always pray and seek God’s heart. Now off to read my Bible with the yearly reading plan.
      Sigh Anne, I always try and take the lead. I have to pray and get out of the way as the woman in the movie War Room said. Hard to do. But I will.
      Hugs to you and kisses for your youngest granddaughter.
      xo
      Pamela

      • I too, used to struggle with what seemed like selective answering of prayers. I remember reading in Isaiah where God tells us that his ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts. Somewhere along the line I was trying to figure out infinite thinking with a finite mind. One he gave me, by the way. And I found it didn’t work. When God said his ways are mysterious, he meant it.

        And yet, I know that I know that I know that he is faithful. He is not a respecter of persons, which means he doesn’t show favoritism no matter how much Satan tries to persuade me otherwise. God loves me and he is always, always, always looking out for my ultimate good. Me on the other hand. I’d like my immediate prayers answered immediately. And I’d like them answered as I’ve asked him too.

        Waiting for my prayers to be answered has always been a challenge. Did I say been. They still are. And yet, the longer I know him, the more I can trust in his character. He wants me to trust who he is, not what he can do for me. I will keep trusting even if it means we don’t have Olivia much longer. I pray this isn’t true, but I trust in God’s wisdom. And in times that are difficult, I will lean hard on his strength.

  • Powerful post, Pamela. I’ve prayed the past year, but haven’t really studied my Bible. Our church began a new series called “The Encounter” and it’s all about encountering Jesus. I brought home a study guide and began to read and study again. In one week, it’s already made a difference.

    And by the way, even though I prayed, it felt as if my prayers weren’t getting past the ceiling.

    • Hi Joan,
      “The Encounter” sounds like a great series to study. I cleaned out my closet too. Now I need to pray. Great job for Hannah to make a prayer closet. God loves all of his children.
      So nice to hear from you.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Pamela, thank you for sharing from your deepest disappointments. It is good for people of faith to be real about our doubts and fears and questions. I bought this book after that movie. I haven’t had time to read it, but perhaps it would be a comfort to you? Love you Pamela, never give up http://www.amazon.com/Fervent-Womans-Serious-Specific-Strategic/dp/1433688670/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1451870902&sr=8-1&keywords=fervent

    • Hello Christa,
      Yes, being real is better than pretending right? I will check out the book you suggested. Right now, I am reading my Bible every day, starting yesterday with the first two chapters of Romans. A read through the Bible in a year plan.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Harvest Rich

    Oh Pamela! This is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. P.S. I’m glad you retrieved your Bible and your prayer life. Blessings, sweet sister.

    • Hi Harvest, my writer friend.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Blessing to you as well.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Sue Sutherlin

    Pamela, my heart aches as I think of your year without prayer. I’m sure others have said this to you, but it’s on my heart to say it – I don’t believe ANY prayer goes unanswered, though prayers are often NOT answered in the way we want. I can remember times on my knees, sobbing, praying, and for reasons I cannot conceive, my prayers were not answered the way I would have liked. I leaned heavily on the scriptures that said to be thankful in ALL things, and also Romans 8:28, realizing that I might not ever see the good that might come of some things, but that nevertheless good could come of them, whether or not I ever was privileged to see that good. Some very hard, but growing, times. FWIW, I had no trouble finding my Bible (currently I am using the Olive Tree Bible Study app on my Kindle), but finding it quickly does not mean that I read it as often as I could and probably should (pardon my use of that word 🙂 ). I don’t pray as often or as well as I could and should, though I don’t think a day goes by without some form of prayer from my lips to God’s ear (usually thanking Him for blessings, large and small). I love you from afar, and will keep you and your prayer request (which God knows) in my prayers (sometimes I think others can pray for us better than we can for ourselves).

    • Hello Sue,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and thank you for your prayers for me and my family. I will write down the Bible verses you suggested.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Pamela, thanks for being so honest about this. I’ll be totally honest with you that prayer became difficult for me. Hearing others with phenomenal stories, like you do as a Christian – over and over and over again, ad infinitum, knowing God hadn’t done anything to prevent the pain I went through, and still hasn’t satisfied desires He put there – to be honest, gets so painful, tedious and frustrating. I know there’s a lot of deep hurt, bitterness and resentment towards God.

    I don’t know how to say what I feel without descending into a childish rage, where I’m not myself. I’m not even sure what I truly feel sometimes. I know what the truth is, but it sure doesn’t feel true, and it doesn’t always look true in my life.

    I know God loves me, He’s at work in my life, and He’s good. And my view of God is bigger than it has ever been. But there is some hurt in my heart, a block there against God, some pain which is still unresolved. And like any relationship, it will take time to work out and heal, but I’m working on it. I have hope.

    I totally resonate with this story in many ways – it’s a great post. Thank you for your honesty.

    • Hello James,
      Thank you for your honesty. And, as I am praying again now, I pray for you to have your hurts healed.
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment, and your kindness.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Caryn Jenkins Christensen

    Pamela, you’ve come to my mind several times over this past year ~ I believe it was the Holy Spirit nudging me to pray for you. Truly, whatever prayer you felt was unanswered holds great importance to God ~ and obviously to the enemy, who brought you to a place of deep discouragement. Know that even when we cannot (or won’t) pray, the Lord never gives up on us, our situation or the thing (or people) we pray for. I’ve been in your place and had to wrestle things out with God. And this I know ~ Oh how the Lord loves you! He was there all along, holding you and drawing you back to Himself. These scriptures came to mind as I was reading your post: Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Ps. 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Rom.8:26-27 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
    I pray you are encouraged to continue praying, even when you cannot see “progress” with your physical eyes.

    • Dear Caryn,
      Thank you for your prayers and the Bible verses you gave me. I will write them down and keep them close.
      Thank you for listening to the nudges to pray for me. You have brought me joy with your kindness.
      xo
      Pamela

  • Judybee

    Hi Pamela,
    I have read your past posts, along with your cat’s musings, but haven’t for awhile…then, the title of this one caught my eye. I can definitely relate. I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and head-knowledge know that God loves me, but, slowly, over the years, I, too, have lost my Bible. Oh, I know where it is, and I use it in creating affirming artwork for myself and others, but, somehow continue to hold back from giving myself to Him full-throttle.
    He has definitely blessed me throughout my life, but because of certain unanswered prayers and hurts, I have pulled back and hugged myself with my own arms instead of reaching toward the light of comfort of his love. I have put Him in the position of Spare Tire, as you so aptly put it.
    Thanks to your and your blog, though, I can change that. He is the God of 2nd, 3rd, 4th…innumerable chances, and I am very grateful for that. So, today, January, 3, 2016, I am seeking again…not just living on memories of past blessings.
    Thank you,
    Judy

    • Good Morning Judybee,
      I haven’t written in a long time. So there were hardly any stories to read. I didn’t want to write about what I was really feeling. But, after I saw the movie, “War Room,” I wanted to be real in my writing again.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Thank you for telling me about your life. This is a beautiful sentence, thought, image. “I have pulled back and hugged myself with my own arms instead of reaching toward the light of comfort of his love.”
      I will seek with you Judy. I am grateful God never gives up on us. We can seek again and not “live on memories of past blessings.” I pray for your hurts and for your heart. (Because I am praying again.) (smile)
      xo
      Pamela

  • Trish

    Pamela – by writing this I am admitting that I only sporadically read your blog (sorry my friend) but it is an important admission because I do feel that God led me to be the first to comment on your confession. I have no idea why I opened your blog this morning as I sit drinking my coffee and preparing for church except to be able to praise God for working mightily in your life, and rejoice with you. I look back some 25 years to the many times we sat in base housing or at the neighborhood park and prayed. Even then we may have “felt” like God wasn’t answering our prayers, but as I look back His plan was always better than ours. He has faithfully walked with each of us for these past 25 years even though we are scarrered everywhere, and trials may have been hard – He has kept us connected so we can continue to step in and pray for each other. Continue to trust that He is listening, fathfully continue to pray and wait for His answer. Enjoy this new year as you find comfort in God’s word and renewed prayer.

    • Trish,
      I am crying as I read your comment. I am so thankful you opened my blog and read my confession this morning.
      And I remember the times we prayed in your home for Bible studies, in church, and in the park in base housing , and how God answered our prayers for Beth.
      Thank you for your friendship. I will continue to trust that He is listening. And, I will wait for his answer.
      xo
      Pamela