Unanswered Prayer

The offspring of the Children of Israel who had wandered in the wilderness were moving closer to the Promised Land. Moses was giving final instructions while rehearsing for them the history of what had transpired to bring them where they presently found themselves, on the east side of the Jordan River. It was then he revealed a prayer he had prayed that God was not going to answer in the affirmative.

Moses told the congregation of the Children of Israel he had prayed, “O Lord GOD, Thou hast begun to shew Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to Thy works, and according to Thy might? I pray Thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon,” (Deuteronomy 3:24-25). It was at the waters of Meribah in the wilderness of Zin where Moses had struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded, that Moses was denied the privilege of entering the Promised Land with those he had led for 40 years, (Numbers 20:1-13). The nearer they traveled to their destination, the more Moses wanted the opportunity to place the sole of his foot on the sacred soil.

Moses continued to relate the extent of his prayer, “But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto Me of this matter,” (v 26). God’s answer to Moses was very clear… “The answer is NO and don’t ask Me again.” But God was merciful to Moses in His denial of Moses’ prayer, in that He allowed Moses to climb to the top of Mt. Pisgah and take in the panoramic view of the Promised Land from his vantage point, which was quite great reaching unto the Mediterranean Sea (Deuteronomy 34:1-4).

Many prayers that seemingly go unanswered are in fact answered, but not in the way the petitioner pleads God to answer them. In Moses’ case it was his sin that kept God from giving him what he so desired at the end of his journey. For other requests it may be a multitude of different reasons an omniscient God does not respond according to the thoughts and intents of an individual’s prayer. It is then trust must be placed in the hands of God to lead, guide and direct according to His perfect will in one’s prayer life.


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