Faith & Life: How to Live Joyfully When Your Prayer Isn’t Answered

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How to Live Joyfully When Your Prayer Isn’t Answered

Learning to Embrace the Waiting Times with Joy

by J.M. Troppello

Waiting can be difficult.

It’s especially hard to be joyful while you’re waiting for a prayer to be answered. My husband and I have been waiting years for some prayers to be answered. We’ve felt God inclining our hearts to continue steadfastly believing for those answers.

However, the answer is still to wait.

During those waiting times, it can become stressful. You may wonder if you’ve really heard from God. You might think maybe you had imagined those inclinations in your spirit regarding visions that He’d shown you.

Yet, there can be fruit during the waiting times if your heart is open.

If you’ve been experiencing a time of waiting while God hasn’t answered your prayer yet. Or if He has answered and the answer is no or to wait longer—focus on embracing the waiting time.

I know that is hard.

But it’s possible to experience joy during the waiting times.

“God never gets tired, so He doesn’t tire of hearing my same prayer.” – Sarah Geringer

Consider the following four ways that you can embrace the waiting times with joy as you wait for God to answer your prayer.

1. Cultivate Your Spiritual Life

Earlier today I started to get weighed down worrying about an issue that I’d already given to God—yet I hadn’t received an answer yet. Depression was on the verge of setting in. However, I took action.

I read some passages of the Bible. I spent time in prayer and worship.

I quickly started to feel better. My focus shifted from the problem to how big God is. Today was an easy shift. I can admit that other days, it’s not so easy to shift my focus from the problem to God’s majesty and power at work in my life.

However, if I want to experience true joy during the trials, I need to cultivate true spiritual growth in my life.

2. Connect with Other People

God created people to be in relationships. He wants His creation to work together for His glory. When you are experiencing a lack of joy and peace due to unanswered prayer, get busy connecting with other people.

Sure, you may not want to talk to anyone during that time. Yet, if you remain isolated, it’s very easy for negative emotions to set in and take root. That will destroy any chance of joy budding in your soul and spirit.

Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or prayer partner in your church. Find someone that you can talk to about how you’re feeling.

Connect with friends to go out and do something fun. It’s important to pray about things. Give them to God. Then you need to distract yourself with doing something fun and productive, so you don’t focus again on not having your prayer answered.

3. Keep on Living Your Life

In the waiting times, you need to keep living. Don’t give up. It’s so easy to live in a limbo-like state while you’re waiting for an answer to a big prayer. I know that there are some exceptions to every rule. Each situation will call for a different aspect of applying this step of continuing to live out your life.

For example, one of my prayers has been to have a baby. It’s been many years waiting for an answer to this prayer. We’ve had three miscarriages. I don’t want to get into too many details here, but the main point is that for a while, I was stuck in limbo.

I felt like I stopped living. I couldn’t be happy about anything because I didn’t have a child yet. One day a few years ago, my husband told me that he’d married me because he loves me, not so we could have children. He said if we do, then that’s a blessing from God. But in the meantime, we need to focus on God and enjoy time with each other.

That was a wakeup call for me. I’d missed so much time of embracing the moments and living joyfully each day. Since then, I’ve vowed to live in each moment as much as possible, and to trust God for each new step.

God blessed us 2.5 years ago to move next door to my sister and her 7- and 6-year-old girls. That has been the best blessing in my life—to be close to them and help them as needed. My one niece even coined the term that I am a “sister mom”.

Keep living while you’re waiting.

4. Pursue Your Passions

After giving everything over to God and cultivating a deeper spiritual life, focus on pursuing your passions. That will help you stay productive during the waiting time.

For me, once I embraced the possibility of growing spiritual fruit during the waiting time—I was able to truly focus on my writing. I’ve seen significant growth in the quality of my writing. My creativity has been flourishing. Joy has been brewing in my heart as I’ve focused on what God can do through my creative passions—and all the wonderful plans He has for my life.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. (Jeremiah 29:11-14, NKJV)

The Takeaway

Cultivate your spiritual life, connect with others, keep on living, and pursue your passions. If you follow these four steps, you can increase your chances for cultivating joy in your life through the waiting periods.

Article syndicated by Mustard Seed Sentinel on


About the Author

J.M. Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.

Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Visit MSS Live Well Corner and our Ko-Fi MSS Community.