Why Didn't God Answer Our Prayer?

Matthew 6:8
 . . . your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.

In our youthful enthusiasm, Tim and I set out on a trip to visit our missionary friends. We followed what we had been taught as new missionaries in Zaire in 1974. We had our directions since there were no street signs or traffic lights on these dirt roads. There weren’t even any gas stations or other stores where we could stop to ask for help. The car was loaded with our belongings, enough gasoline for the trip there and back, lunches, snacks, and lots of items that we were transporting to the friends we were to visit. But less than an hour from home, the car began to sputter and spit, and just refused to run right. Tim tinkered with the engine but it didn’t help. We prayed and asked the Lord for wisdom to know how to fix it so we could make it to our destination. We had really been looking forward to this trip. It became obvious that we couldn’t make it another hundred miles since the car would go no more than 25 mile per hour, so we turned around and limped home. I was confused  and disappointed. Why God hadn’t answered our prayer?

The mechanic at the missionary station where we lived took a look at our old Volkswagen when we got home and came out shaking his head. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said. “Your gas line was actually leaking gas and it was dripping right down on the engine! I can’t see how your engine kept from exploding. It was just a matter of time till it happened. God was watching out for you or you wouldn’t be alive.”

We were stunned!  God knew what our need was even though we didn’t.  He answered our prayer by making it impossible for us to continue our trip successfully, and by giving us the wisdom to turn around and head home. How thankful we were for His goodness!

Thank you, Father, that Your knowledge is so vast that it sees beyond the surface to the core of our deepest needs. Your wisdom never ceases to amaze me!

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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