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  #1  
Old Jun 10, '12, 3:02 pm
MirandaRiver MirandaRiver is offline
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Default When prayers seem to be unanswered...

How do you cope spiritually when you feel your prayers are not heard or not being answered? Do you feel dejected and upset? Or do you try to focus on the positive that God knows what is in your best interests and so has prevented something from happening? Do you find solace knowing God discerns our prayer intentions, or feel upset that you don't get what you feel deep in your heart you need?

Just wondering how others cope with this personally.
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  #2  
Old Jun 10, '12, 3:59 pm
Tenebrae Tenebrae is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Whenever I start to fret over an apparently unanswered prayer, I tell myself that God knows more about the situation than I do.
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  #3  
Old Jun 10, '12, 4:23 pm
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Trishie Trishie is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

It's hard, because when we want something or need something, for ourselves or others, it is frustrating and distressing when it doesn't happen.
I've had a tendency to write and try to make sense of it that way, trying to "understand' God's ''perspective." I still find it hard sometimes, especially when my prayer is for the benefit of others. Sometimes the answers come slowly, almost unnoticed, and finally you realize the prayer has been heard, if not always in the way you might have expected.
I also do know that often we need to take practical steps, as God has given us gifts of personality and nature, and we must do what we can manage, in goodness and wisdom.

Our God, we pray to You for others and ourselves, and sometimes it seems, if only for a time, a time of awful pain and loneliness, that no one is listening, that You are not there.

Many have turned away, disappointed and bitter, that You have not answered their urgent prayer, their painful need for self and for others. There is no satisfactory human answer to their challenge, whatever one might say of Your ways, Your time, because their anguish or their anger is the reality they experience.

Dear God, You need no reminder, but my humanness leads me to remind You that we are human in our minds and hearts and bodies. We have little or no actual sense or knowledge of ourselves as spirit. If You seem not to touch us as human beings living in a physical world that we acutely experience, then some of us falter in faith and hope. I pray for them with all my heart and life.

O silent God let us hear Your voice in the words of others, and let us be Your love spoken to them. Yet may I ask that You also speak directly to their hearts and minds with unmistakable Love even where we cannot detect the action of Your Spirit in ourselves or in others. Speak to them in their last moments, if not before.

Please be mindful of our needs, and our desperation for ourselves and our loved ones.
Nurture us as we pray and seek Your healing and care.
Embrace all who have lost their hope in God and prayer. Help them to find You even in the silence, yet please give them, give us, experience of Your love in our lives.


Prayer as God’s family

Our God, when we pray, we implicitly offer the image and love of God in those for whom we pray. The innate prayer of Your image in us gained immense value in the incarnation and sacrifice of Jesus. Through communion in Jesus’ life, we also share in the tremendous reservoir of grace of His Mystical Body. Each person in the Mystical Body has unique complementary gifts that increase the sanctity and interaction of the whole Body. The prayer, penance, and service of each member of the Mystical Body throughout time contribute to the vitality and grace of the whole.

Because we are created with free will, we can remain spiritually separate from You and our fellow-beings, thus impeding the flow of grace to others, whose salvation may partly depend upon our intercession or witness. By unrepentant failure to share ourselves lovingly with others, we may condemn ourselves to eternal separation from You our Creator, and from the heavenly family who longingly await us.

We are blessed in those who serve others in charitable deeds. We are blessed in all who accept suffering as their apostolate in unity with Jesus, to atone for humankind’s sins and to intercede for salvation of souls. We are blessed in all who devote their lives in prayer, for this apostolate swells Your grace within the Church with tremendous but concealed power.

Your prayer within each of Your people is a tiny stream that flows into the ocean of Yourself. If we refuse to participate in Your cooperative plan of salvation then we dry up as stagnant pools in the desert of separation. The tragedy of this separation is individual, but its mourning belongs to all. If we truly understood this, how fervently we would intercede for each other!

You intend that we offer prayer in each thought, word, and act of our lives. Whether we pray deeply or grope in confusion for Your will, or we confidently proclaim private desires, or pray sorrowfully—we must always seek to pray. In doing so, we must acknowledge with Jesus, that, “Not my will, but Your divine will be done.”

Confusion occurs because we are motivated by self-will. We may choose to abandon hope, or to compromise, or we may choose to reaffirm our faith in You despite lack of consolation or of apparent response. If we do not trust in Your mercy and promises, our faith and hope weaken. We may even abandon You, temporarily or permanently, believing You to be faithless, uncaring, or non-existent. Save us from such despair.

Your best kindness may be in refusing a wish that might endanger one’s own or another’s development or salvation. Therefore, in apparently unanswered prayers there is astonishing hope! If we accept Your apparent silence and inaction patiently, then faith deepens. When we allow Your own prayer and design in us to unfold, in time (or in eternity) we will discover that Your answers in our lives and in others’ for whom we pray, are far beyond what we could dream to ask!

If we allow You to make the fullness of Your prayer in us, You will gradually transform us. In Your sight if not in our own or any others’, we will become the pure precious persons whom You desire each to become. We then are in harmony with Your creative purpose, faithfully serving Your divine plan of salvation within the Mystical Body. Grant that, in praise, humility and trust, we may so allow You. Thank You, God, for the prayer You place in our hearts as You call us to gospel service throughout our lives.
__________________
JESUS who died once for all persons
who gives Yourself wholly in Communion to billions throughout time
please pray in me for every person
as if each person is the only loved one.
JESUS please welcome each person with love, healing, and great joy!
Thank You JESUS


Mother Mary at the wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1-12)
though JESUS protested it was not yet time for miracles
you successfully interceded with Him for a family's temporal need
please now intercede with your divine Son
for each person's temporal and spiritual needs.
Thank you Mother


JESUS please grant our prayer for this person


Catechism of the Catholic Church http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
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  #4  
Old Jun 10, '12, 4:52 pm
John Carlton John Carlton is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

This won't win me any optimism points... but I take a certain element of stoicism with my prayers. You say you're a pagan, I used to be a pagan. In Germanic paganism there is an attitude of indifference to doom, the gods of the forefathers were waging an impossible war, but they did it anyway. Obviously, my paradigm in that sense of doom changed when I accepted Christ, but the stoicism remains. I do not need to make excuses for God, He can do as He pleases, He does not need to answer all my prayers, nor does He owe me an excuse when He does contrary to my will. So when I feel a prayer has gone unanswered, I simply keep going. I continue to pray, and I let go of whatever else was bothering me. To me, and others, I know, prayer is a connection between the Almighty and the one who prays. God is a Personality, the personality. So like us, He has free will. If I pray for a thing, God is under no contractural obligation to automatically heed that prayer. I know that it is said that if in faith we pray for a thing, than it will be granted. *But* the Bible also makes clear that good things come to those who wait, or in the case of Saint Job, or Qoheleth for a somewhat grimmer example, sometimes we simply can't make any lasting sense of things. I hope my rambling helps give you some insight, anyway, God bless!
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  #5  
Old Jun 10, '12, 5:09 pm
sdegutis sdegutis is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MirandaRiver View Post
How do you cope spiritually when you feel your prayers are not heard or not being answered? Do you feel dejected and upset? Or do you try to focus on the positive that God knows what is in your best interests and so has prevented something from happening? Do you find solace knowing God discerns our prayer intentions, or feel upset that you don't get what you feel deep in your heart you need?

Just wondering how others cope with this personally.
I once read by one of my beloved Saints that God doesn't ignore prayers, and if He doesn't answer them in the way we ask, then we can rest assured that He definitely has something better in store. Kind of like if you ask your parents for a cheap $300 broken down car that just barely works, and they don't buy it right away, but instead they save up for a few months to buy you a $40,000 car that works fantastically for many years. Or sometimes we ask for a cheap motorcycle so we can get to work but instead we get that same $40,000 car. Even though it isn't exactly what we asked for, or when we asked for it, we got what we actually needed. The saint assured that we could rely and trust that this principle is how God works, which is why sometimes our prayers seem to go unanswered.
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  #6  
Old Jun 10, '12, 5:48 pm
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the phoenix the phoenix is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Hi MirandaRiver,

From May 2008 to May 2011, I was pretty much unemployed or underemployed, with short temporary contract jobs to tide me over from time to time.

In July of 2008, one day I reached a real low point. It was just when Pope Benedict was visiting Australia. I read that he had arrived in the country and was resting up privately before the official events began, and people were delivering cats to his door so he could relax with his favorite feline friends.

I ached so bad for a cat and asked God, "I want a cat too, just on loan for a little while. How come Pope Benedict gets all the cats delivered to his door? Where's my cat?"

Well, that evening, just about dinnertime, there came a polite purring meow at my door. Out of twelve different apartment units in my building, that cat chose my door to show up at after successfully escaping her owner. Meanwhile, the owner was nowhere around and I had no idea whose cat this was. So I had to go spend what little money I had to buy a litterbox, catfood, water dish to keep the cat safe with me for at least overnight. Long story short, a happy ending was had with the cat reunited the next day with her rightful owner.

The cat left. And it took nearly three more years until God answered my prayers for a full time job.

Want to know what else helped? The Prayer Warriors here on CAF were praying for me in the Prayer Intentions section of the forum. I'm not too proud to beg for prayers when I need them. Sending out resumes, going to interviews, taking those contract jobs (no job too small), and starting a small entrepreneurial business helped too.

God wants us to use the talents He's given us to the best of our ability within the circumstances He allows us to find ourselves in, and He wants His children to help each other when they are in need.

If you like, I'll be happy to pray for you.



~~ the phoenix
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  #7  
Old Jun 10, '12, 6:10 pm
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Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

I rarely pray for something specific, like I need x in order for something to happen. I ask for God's guidance and protection, I ask for His will to be done. He knows what I need anyway.So if I'm having trouble with something I don't pray 'please let this happen, and make that happen in order for this to be resolved'. I ask God to help me and that the situation resolves in the way He sees fit. In my experience, the less specific my prayer is the better.

Maybe you could try a more general prayer ('Your will be done' for example) with which you acknowledge that He is in charge and that you are willing to do what He wants.

Hope this helps.
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  #8  
Old Jun 10, '12, 7:33 pm
ubcgirl ubcgirl is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Like the above poster, I don't pray too often for things in specific - other than my prayers for a husband (if His will be done!), and prayers that I will continue to heal physically/emotionally from my past and current injuries. I felt quite impatient for awhile about the husband thing - but I can see that God is still working on me, and He may be working on my future husband - and He may even have something better planned for me (gee, I hope not... I completely picture myself having the Catholic version of the Weasely family from Harry Potter). But I've also come to accept that God has big plans in my life, and He'll provide me with what I need.
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  #9  
Old Jun 11, '12, 12:14 pm
Tenebrae Tenebrae is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the phoenix View Post
Hi MirandaRiver,

From May 2008 to May 2011, I was pretty much unemployed or underemployed, with short temporary contract jobs to tide me over from time to time.

In July of 2008, one day I reached a real low point. It was just when Pope Benedict was visiting Australia. I read that he had arrived in the country and was resting up privately before the official events began, and people were delivering cats to his door so he could relax with his favorite feline friends.

I ached so bad for a cat and asked God, "I want a cat too, just on loan for a little while. How come Pope Benedict gets all the cats delivered to his door? Where's my cat?"

Well, that evening, just about dinnertime, there came a polite purring meow at my door. Out of twelve different apartment units in my building, that cat chose my door to show up at after successfully escaping her owner. Meanwhile, the owner was nowhere around and I had no idea whose cat this was. So I had to go spend what little money I had to buy a litterbox, catfood, water dish to keep the cat safe with me for at least overnight. Long story short, a happy ending was had with the cat reunited the next day with her rightful owner.



~~ the phoenix
This is a beautiful story. It show that God does not disdain the least of our prayers--and that He has a sense of humor, too.
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  #10  
Old Jun 12, '12, 10:59 pm
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Holly3278 Holly3278 is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

I usually just feel solace and comfort in the fact that I know God knows what is best for me and that if He is going to give me what I asked for that it'll be in His time and not mine.
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“One day, through the Rosary and the Scapular, Our Lady will save the world.”
--Saint Dominic

"Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world."
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  #11  
Old Jun 12, '12, 11:09 pm
holyghost holyghost is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

I tend to finish off my prayers "if it be in accordance with your Holy Will", as a way to offer surrender to God. Even though I have my own limited and humble petition, I keep focus that it is being sent to the unlimited Almighty God who knows much better than I do and has a greater plan than me.
The Our Father prayer really helps me with this. I tend to surrender those unanswered prayers and forget about them; the more I pray and surrender my petitions to God, the more I come face to face with the limitation of my own desires and needs, and how small they are in the face of eternity.
And guess what; some of those small prayers actually are answered. This strengthens my faith, but the unanswered prayers also are beginning to strengthen my faith as well.
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  #12  
Old Jun 13, '12, 1:24 pm
InLight247 InLight247 is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by the phoenix View Post
Hi MirandaRiver,

From May 2008 to May 2011, I was pretty much unemployed or underemployed, with short temporary contract jobs to tide me over from time to time.

In July of 2008, one day I reached a real low point. It was just when Pope Benedict was visiting Australia. I read that he had arrived in the country and was resting up privately before the official events began, and people were delivering cats to his door so he could relax with his favorite feline friends.

I ached so bad for a cat and asked God, "I want a cat too, just on loan for a little while. How come Pope Benedict gets all the cats delivered to his door? Where's my cat?"

Well, that evening, just about dinnertime, there came a polite purring meow at my door. Out of twelve different apartment units in my building, that cat chose my door to show up at after successfully escaping her owner. Meanwhile, the owner was nowhere around and I had no idea whose cat this was. So I had to go spend what little money I had to buy a litterbox, catfood, water dish to keep the cat safe with me for at least overnight. Long story short, a happy ending was had with the cat reunited the next day with her rightful owner.

The cat left. And it took nearly three more years until God answered my prayers for a full time job.

Want to know what else helped? The Prayer Warriors here on CAF were praying for me in the Prayer Intentions section of the forum. I'm not too proud to beg for prayers when I need them. Sending out resumes, going to interviews, taking those contract jobs (no job too small), and starting a small entrepreneurial business helped too.

God wants us to use the talents He's given us to the best of our ability within the circumstances He allows us to find ourselves in, and He wants His children to help each other when they are in need.

If you like, I'll be happy to pray for you.



~~ the phoenix
Your cat story is so cute and heart warming. Our Lord does have a good sense of humor and he does hear our prayers.

As the years go by, I have learned to trust in the Lord more and more. Yes, I do pray for some specific needs for real life. The Bible says to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our hearts. But it is always with the bottom line that God's will be done. When we trust God's will is the best, we can deal with disappointment and frustration with the faith and hope that the best is coming.
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  #13  
Old Jun 13, '12, 2:30 pm
fred conty fred conty is online now
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MirandaRiver View Post
How do you cope spiritually when you feel your prayers are not heard or not being answered? Do you feel dejected and upset? Or do you try to focus on the positive that God knows what is in your best interests and so has prevented something from happening? Do you find solace knowing God discerns our prayer intentions, or feel upset that you don't get what you feel deep in your heart you need?

Just wondering how others cope with this personally.
From your id you are a pegan. So what god(s) are you praying to?
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  #14  
Old Jul 4, '12, 8:52 am
MirandaRiver MirandaRiver is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred conty View Post
From your id you are a pegan. So what god(s) are you praying to?
Whilst I am pagan... I am currently in a very odd time of my life where I feel strongly drawn to the Church and its teachings, so when I talk about prayer here I am referring only to the Christian God and no other.
I know, it seems odd and crazy - and many a time when I look at it rationally I do think I'm going nuts, but I suppose the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways.
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  #15  
Old Jul 4, '12, 11:30 am
J_Peterson J_Peterson is offline
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Default Re: When prayers seem to be unanswered...

If they are not answered just keep asking. If you feel silly or selfish, just remember that Christ told us to do that. I've had prayers answered so I know that He hears so if he doesn't answer all of them in an obvious way I know He will in some way in his own time.
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