There are many reasons explored why prayers go unanswered. These attempts to address a tough issue are sometimes insightful and help us move forward in our searching.
Yet when our own personal search continues to hit a brick wall, the pain of unanswered prayers runs deep. This pain is often magnified when our petitions to God stretch into years. With no answers in sight, this void of silence can be a lonely place.
Whether we are praying for a broken marriage which fails to recover or a child who suffers through an illness, we are all united by a common goal, to see life change. When the break though does not take place and our cries for help turn into weary sighs, we are ultimately left with a choice.
Do we choose to declare 'enough is enough' and accept the cards which life has dealt us? Or do we continue to endure, persevere and sweat it out with God until the answer begins to take form in our lives?
As we look at scripture, we find great leaders who for different reasons actually expressed that they too had enough. In great weariness, Elijah the prophet said to God "I have had enough, Lord. Take my life" (1 Kings 19).
Moses, declares his exasperation to God when the Israelites were wailing for food- "If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now- if I have found favour in your eyes- and do not let me face my own ruin" (Numbers 11:15).
What I love about the bible is it is so tangible and transparent. As Moses cries out to God, we can hear his angst and frustration. A holy man of God, worn out like many of us who cry out to God "is this how you are going to treat me?!"
On the contrary to giving up, I'm reminded of a very pertinent example illustrated in the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18). The parable seeks to highlight that if an unjust judge can be persuaded by a persistent widow, how much more will a loving God respond with the justice we cry out for?
Although our bones may ache with the weariness of unanswered prayers, we can only cling to our faith, hold onto God's promises and turn our face towards heaven. Then when the answers come, like rain on a parched land, we will declare the faithfulness of our God.