Various times I meet with disheartened Christians who have prayed to the Lord in their times of trouble and it seems the Lord has not answered them. Perhaps it was a prayer for healing of themselves or a loved one. Instead the illness hangs on and afflicts the individual even more.
Possibly the person prayed for a job and they did not get it. It might even be that they asked the Lord for a spouse to journey alongside them through life, but they still walk alone.
All of the above requests—and many more—are appropriate concerns to bring to the Lord in prayer. Yet, even when the request appears to be something we need and desire, the prayer seems to go unanswered.
Our verses today appear to assure the petitioner that God will listen and answer in power once the prayer is uttered. This does not seem to agree with the reality of life, and so honest Christians come away from their Bibles confused and disheartened.
The writer of today's verses tells us several things that should give us hope for our unanswered prayers. First we get the message that the Lord listens to our prayers. No Christian should ever think that the One Who made us with ears to hear is not listening to our cries for help. God always hears the prayers of His people.
The second thing we read in our verses is that the Lord makes the one who prays strong. Sometimes we would rather remain weak and have the difficulty removed instead. However, the Lord knows which is better for us, removing the source of our struggles, or else making us strong to endure the issue.
Perhaps this is where you have gone astray. The Lord has blessed you with strength to endure and you have not exercised it. Instead, you have stayed fearful of the enemy not realizing that you have the ability to resist successfully.
Then we read that in spite of how remarkably vast and powerful the Lord is, He notices insignificant people such as we are. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Ask yourself "Is my pride interfering with my ability to pray effectively?"
You may not be able to get down on your knees to pray but you most certainly can humble yourself in the presence of the Almighty God. God does really hear us! Remember Psalm 51:17 (NIV):
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.