Thankful for Unanswered Prayers?

Thanksgiving 2014 is over. But the memories linger on. Memories of the food, the fun, the fellowship. And hopefully, the acknowledgment of the past year’s blessings and continued gratitude for this year’s. 

In our home, we have a Thanksgiving tradition of sharing 5 things from the past year for which we are grateful. When the kids were little, it’d be simple, obvious items like Mom and Dad, God, food, pets.

Now our older boys spend a bit more time reflecting on more specific gifts in their lives. 

This year proved especially precious.

Not because my family sang my accolades. No, they didn’t focus their thanks giving on me.

Not because all went picture perfect. It didn’t (in fact Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be Thanksgiving dupper [dinner/supper] at 2 pm!). 

No, this year proved especially sweet because my family reminded me that God’s plan is always better than ours. 

God's plan is always better than ours. Click To Tweet

thankful for unanswered prayers

Thankful for “Unanswered” Prayers

You see, most of us are quick to give thanks for the obvious answers to prayers. Me included.

The promotion we asked for.

Healing blessings.

Safe travel.

All things easy to be thankful for. 

It takes a bit more insight and reflection to be thankful for seemingly unanswered prayers. 

That’s just what happened in our family. 

Tears threatened to spill as first my husband and then my oldest read from their gratitude leaves. I remembered the disappointment and confusion I felt at the time when my loved ones’ prayers seemed to go unanswered. 

No promotion.

No floor RA.

Less work offered. 

Not good things in our minds. But the perfect answer in God’s plan as my husband and son later realized. 

And it struck me, how I need to be looking for answered prayer in the nonanswers and in the different answers. 

Look for answered prayer in the nonanswers and in the different answers. Click To Tweet

Because God, He always knows what’s best, and He only gives what’s good for us in the end … no matter how bad it may look to us in the here and now. 

Those perceived “unanswered” prayers, they are where we often find the best answers and the greatest blessings.

Those perceived 'unanswered' prayers are where we often find the best answers and the greatest blessings. Click To Tweet

Yes, Thanksgiving 2014 is past. But it’s never too late to look for God’s grace and mercy; to recognize His answers to those prayers that initially seem unanswered. 

“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

Reflections: In your reflections of the past year, do you recognize the blessings of any seemingly unanswered prayers?

Since beginning more than 3 years ago, I’ve counted more than 3,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go: #3387–3407, read the entire list by clicking here.

  • Blessed with the health and ability to enjoy the splendor of winter; Discovered my work laptop has a lighted keyboard – bonus!; Rachel’s patriotism cuteness
  • Healthy conviction through writings of a grace-filled lady; Christmas candy making officially began today; Joey’s help making Thanksgiving tree leaves
  • Moaning of tree branches rubbing in the wind; Being inspired to a better plan, one that includes more rest; Brilliance of a zillion stars on this cold, clear night
  • My children’s ability to brighten a difficult day; Digging out and throwing away in the deep recesses of the basement; A sister who’s there even to help with gift decisions
  • Uncovering treasures in the deep depths of the basement; Lots thrown away and much to give away–simplifying!; Relative warmth coming, as in above freezing
  • Good dent made in the molded chocolates; My guys splitting wood for the winter; Rachel trying to dance to music on my iPad–first time, so cute
  • The acceptance we feel at our place of worship for our loud, quirky little family; Rachel’s laughter of delight as the rain hit her nose; Snuggling with my teenage boy as we read aloud–I know how all-too-quickly it will end

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “Thankful for Unanswered Prayers?
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Twenty five days after receiving a diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor a lady in our church went to be with Jesus. (Dec,2,in the early morning.) At first, we all were stunnedby the news. But, as a close friend and I talked about it, God knew best. He two children couldn’t have handled watching her go through the horrible side effects of the illness. God relieved her of her suffering.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      It often takes time to see God’s sovereign goodness in devastating situations like that, Cecelia, but it’s always there. We just need to continue to trust, even when nothing makes human sense.

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