Have you ever prayed and found that sometimes it seems as though God has not yet answered your prayer? I know I have…

Perhaps like me you have also wondered, why do some prayers get answered but others do not?

I was thinking through questions like these and examining the Bible and what it says about unanswered prayer and began to reflect…

And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.

Revelation 5:8 (NLT)

Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.

Psalm 22:2 (NLT)

I can see these bowls in my mind, filled with incense – filled with prayers that had been left before God, piled high and teeming over with our needs. What requests had been made? What desires had been collected in these gold bowls and why hadn’t they been sorted through yet? I wondered who had prayed them and if mine were a part of this collection? I was fascinated at the thought of God collecting and saving our prayers.

If you were to look online and in commentaries you may find that each presents multiple thoughts, but one theory is represented by nearly every source.

Unanswered prayers.

Many theologians believe the gold bowls are filled with one-sided prayers that had been prayed but left unanswered.

Is this true? Is God collecting our unanswered prayers? I imagine the prayers of millions of people, “save me, deliver me, heal me, love me, fix me, use me, feed me, release me, have me, hold me, fill me, take me, sustain me, liberate me, rescue me, come through for me…


What are your thoughts on this?