IN THE BIBLE
In the Bible are a few examples of prayers that were not answered. Usually God responded to the one praying, but refused the request. These are good examples to teach us how to pray effectively.
* King Saul prayed for guidance but God did not answer him. Saul had pronounced a curse on any of his army who ate before evening. Jonathan, unaware of the curse, had eaten. The lesson for us is we should be very careful about making vows. 1 Samuel 14:37; Ecclesiastes 5:1-7.
* King Saul prayed for help and guidance. Saul had removed so far from God that He no longer answered Saul's prayers. Saul then sought an answer through a medium. 1 Samuel 28:6,7.
* David prayed for the life of his son. The son died because of David's sin with Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12:13-23. Lesson for us - sin has its consequences.
* Elijah prayed that he might die. God had much more work for Elijah to do so it was not in God's will for Elijah to die at that time. In the end Elijah didn't die but was caught up into heaven by a whirlwind. 1 Kings 19:4; 2 Kings 2:11.
* Jonah prayed that God would take his life as it was better to die than to live. God does not answer this type of prayer for there is a time to die and we must wait for God's timing not ours. Also, Jonah had yet to accomplish the work God sent him to do. Jonah 4:3.
* King Zedekiah prayed for help in defeating Nebuchadnezzar. God's answered that He would not help because of the many sins of Israel. Jeremiah 21:2.
* The disciples James and John with their mother requested the highest rank in the kingdom Jesus was to establish. Jesus' answer was that this position was not His to give. But, they first were to be servants of one another before greatness would be given them. Mark 10:34-45.
* Jesus prayed, "May this cup be taken from me." He also prayed, "Your will be done." It was the Father's will that Jesus drink the cup of suffering for the sins of the world. Matthew 26:36-46; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:9; 12:2,3; 13:12,13.
* Paul prayed that his "thorn in the flesh" be removed. Paul's thorn was not removed, so that Christ would be glorified, not himself, and to keep him from becoming proud. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
But Yahweh said to Samuel, "Don't look on his face, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for [Yahweh sees] not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7 WEB
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Created September 1999