7 Reasons to Thank God for Unanswered Prayer

prayer-on-my-knees4I’m a firm believer that God knows exactly what He’s doing when He says “no” to our prayers, when He seems to wait before answering our prayers, or when it seems He isn’t listening at all.

Psalm 145:8-9 says: The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.”

That tells me that His graciousness, compassion, and love are at work — even in unanswered prayer. So here are seven reasons to thank God even when you’re not getting an answer – yet:

1. God may be waiting to give you something that’s even better than you requested. Thank Him that He knows best.

2. God’s “no” in this situation may be for your — or someone else’s — protection. Thank Him that He cares about you that much.

3. By not giving you what you want, as soon as you ask for it, God is ensuring that you will keep coming back to ask. He doesn’t want the role of Santa Claus in your life. He wants the relationship. Thank Him for desiring your communication and your trust.

4. There may be something He wants you to see by His apparent “withholding.” Psalm 84:11 says “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If you are walking uprightly, and He is truly withholding, then what you are asking for might not actually be a “good thing” for you. Thank Him for what He can see, that you cannot.

5. He will allow — or withhold — whatever will keep you right where you need to be when it comes to your relationship with Him. Thank Him that He desires your eternal joy over your temporal joy.

6. He will do whatever it takes (in blessing or withholding blessing) in order to keep you clinging to Him. Thank Him that He is a God who wants you clinging, rather than a God who couldn’t care less about you.

7. God desires your completion in Him and sometimes He can do more work in you, while you are waiting, than if He immediately granted your request. Thank Him that He will complete the work He has started in you in Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

There now, after thanking Him for those seven things, aren’t you starting to love Him even more than what it is you’re asking for? I hope so. Because I truly believe that’s the point.

Why are you thankful, even when you haven’t had the answer you’ve desired? Please let me know in the comment section below so I can pray for you.

About me

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning author and national speaker who helps women find strength for the soul. She has nearly 30 years experience ministering to women and inspiring them to let God meet their emotional needs, grow stronger through their alone times, and pursue their dreams with boldness.


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Reply July 22, 2014

Hi Cindi, wow, I needed to hear this today. Thank you. I am thankful that my Heavenly Father has been providing for me. Praise God.

    Reply July 22, 2014

    Hi Maria: Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you are able to see His provision and praise Him for it today. : )

Lisa Pacheco
Reply July 23, 2014

This hit right home. What a sweet reminder of His Goodness! Thank you so much.

Reply July 26, 2014

Thank you for another wonderful post Cindi! Your 7 reasons...so wise. I have learned, over the years, the value of what you say in those 7. When I feel God is not "listening" I read back through my prayer journal to remind myself how grateful I am that God gave me the answers He did, when He did, in the past. And, that this request isn't any different. God's answers and timing are perfect:-)

You mentioned in your last reply to me that you appreciate my keeping up with your posts and commenting. I have thought about that and want to tell you that I do because I don't want to miss out! I always learn and grow from them. I feel fed by what you write. And I know I am not alone in that!!! PLEASE always keep up the good work:-)

    Reply July 26, 2014

    Thank you, Chery. I appreciate your encouragement more than you know. :)

Anne Peterson
Reply August 5, 2014

When I prayed that God would give me answers following my sister's murder, it was really so I could feel better. When God didn't answer a lot of those questions it caused me to lean harder into who He is. To trust that He knows and that's enough. And to further understand that I don't have to. Your post resonates with me. And I have to honestly say it is through our pain that we see Him the clearest. And that is what matters.

    Reply August 5, 2014

    Thank you, Anne, for sharing your story and your wisdom in trusting Him no matter what. You have a powerful testimony.

Reply October 26, 2016

Please pray for me. I live in a very unhealthy relationship and I really like to move out on my own. Pray for God leading me to His plan fo me and nnot mine thank you.

    Reply October 26, 2016

    Hi Diana:
    I encourage you to read some of the free articles on my "Articles of Encouragement" page that will prayerfully give you strength and help you see that God is the only love relationship you truly need and as you draw closer to Him you will not settle for less in order to feel loved. Praying you keep your eyes on Him and see Him as your first love.

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