What God taught me through unanswered prayer

What God taught me through unanswered prayer

Written on 06/24/2020
Shawn Naylor

Written by Shawn Naylor

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

During university, I became friends with a man named Louis. He was an inventor and one of my heroes of faith. He was an incredible inspiration to me and others. After receiving a dream from God, he built a frequencer that helps reduce the phlegm build-up that occurs in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis.

Louis also had cystic fibrosis. He had a lung transplant, but those lungs began to decay and be rejected by his body. He was in line to receive a second transplant, but it’s very rare for people with cystic fibrosis to live long enough to see a second surgery.

I prayed, his friends prayed, his wife and family prayed. We all prayed. We asked God to heal Louis, but he wasn’t healed. After his death, I asked myself, “How could this be?” If, even through his suffering, this man invented something to alleviate the suffering of others, what better candidate was there for a miracle?

But God did not heal him on earth. The heartache and pain in his immediate community was great. This led me to many discussions with God. Oh, I was not happy. “Are you not the God who heals? Are you not the God who restores? Are you not the God who gives destiny?”

Finally, when I stopped talking and started listening, God spoke through His Word. God’s reply was:

“Do I not know this day from the next?” (Psalms 139:16).

“Do I not know all the names of the stars?” (Psalms 147:4).

“Did I not know you before you were formed in your mother’s womb?” (Jeremiah 1:5).

“Do I cause it to rain in one place and not in another?” (Amos 4:7).

“Is there anything that’s hidden from me?” (Hebrews 4:13).

“Is there anything that is impossible for me?” (Luke 1:37).

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18) – or basically, “Wait until you see the masterpiece I am revealing through your present suffering.”

Then, like a skateboard to the shins, it hit me. I was in direct conversation with Yahweh and He was speaking to me. I had a hotline with the maker and knower of all things. He challenged me.

Was I wanting my plan to come to fruition or the will of God to be accomplished?

Jesus asked God the same question in the Garden of Gethsemane, even though He already knew the answer. I think of His prayer like this: “God, please take this suffering away from me. But if this suffering is a part of the masterpiece, then make me a part of the masterpiece.”

God shifted my perspective to His response. In my request, I asked for Louis to be healed, that he would miraculously have brand new lungs, and that there would be no more suffering. At the end of Louis’s race he heard the upward call of Christ and is now standing in the presence of perfection as a perfect and complete human. My prayer request was answered.

Oswald Chambers said, “If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” The result of my prayer was this: although the situation around me never changed, I became unrecognizable to myself and those around me. I see hope when others see the end. I see light when darkness surrounds. I see threads in the hands of the grand weaver. 

Prayer penetrated my heart and revealed God’s purpose by positioning me with the correct perspective. When we pray, we are in distant yet free connection with Yahweh. We are aware of the source of all things. He cares for us and His ultimate will is for us is to be with Him in perfection.