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Let me introduce you to my friend, Jennifer. Jennifer Rothschild is the author of 10 books with combined sales of over a half-million units, including the newly released God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. She’s been featured on Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Women of Faith and Extraordinary Women and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. She became blind at age fifteen and now helps others live beyond limits. She resides in Springfield, Missouri with her husband of 21 years, Dr. Philip Rothschild, and their two sons Clayton and Connor. Connect with Jennifer on Twitter and Facebook.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ve invited friends to share their words in this space as we explore the mysteries of prayer during the Summer Bible Study.

God answers prayer

by Jennifer Rothschild

I turned on both lamps on the dresser in the guest room. When I detected light from the right lamp but not the left, I placed my hand on the bulb to make sure it was working. It was warm.

If the lamp was on, the problem wasn’t the light bulb.

My heart sank when it hit me. This could only mean one thing—

The few fragments of sight I once had in my left eye were now gone. It’s not like there was real vision there to begin with, but at least it wasn’t vast blackness of nothing at all.

I had lost the majority of my sight as a teenager because of a degenerative disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Blindness had been hard but at least it had a little light perception–not enough to function, but it did give me a reprieve from total darkness.

Standing in front of the guest room dresser that day, I suddenly felt trapped in a claustrophobic cave and overwhelmed by dread and loss.

My eyes welled up with tears and my throat tightened. “God, please give me back my left eye.” I prayed because I knew God heard me and could restore even my limited sight.

“Oh Father, I really want my left eye back. I don’t even need total healing if you would just give me back the little light I had in my left eye.”

It’s been over five years since I asked God to restore my left eye, and it remains as black as a starless midnight sky–now both eyes only see black.

God heard my prayer. He just didn’t answer me the way I wanted Him to.

Do you have a desire you long for God to hear?

“I need healing, Lord.”

“God, please restore my marriage.”

“Father, I feel so lonely. Please bring someone to love me.”

God hears you and your desire, my friend. Even if He hasn’t answered it yet, that does not mean He disregards it–or you.

Your voice isn’t a vague noise from a distant guest room in Heaven.

God hears you. He just may not answer you in the way you want Him to.

“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry” (Psalm 10:17). My friend, God hears you, He listens when you cry out to Him. He created your heart, and He gets you. He knows what you want and need, and when He hears you, He immediately sends encouragement your way.

On that day in the guest room when I prayed for God to heal my eye, He did hear my voice. He regarded my sorrow; He did not answer my prayer by giving me healing. He answered my prayer by giving me encouragement–the ultimate encouragement. Himself.

So, I write this post today with blind eyes on a talking computer. And, if your eyes are filled with tears because you long for God to answer your prayer and it just seems He hasn’t, well, maybe He has.

God has heard you.

The Lord may not have answered you in the way you wanted Him to but He has answered you in the way you needed Him to.

Maybe, like me, you need something far more satisfying and eternal than the specific answer to your prayer. Maybe the reason God hasn’t answered your prayer in the way you want Him to is because He wants to grant you what you need most – that which is more satisfying and eternal… the ultimate encouragement… Christ Himself.

“Satisfaction doesn’t come from answers to our prayers. Satisfaction comes from the encounter we have with God through his Spirit because of our prayer.” – God is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

[Tweet “Satisfaction comes from the encounter with God because of our prayer.”]

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3dNotFairThis week, were giving away 3 copies of God Is Just Not Fair: Finding Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense by Jennifer Rothschild.

This is a book about finding more than just answers. It’s for anyone who needs hope when life doesn’t make sense – for all who reach for a God who feels distant.

Do you believe God is just not fair? If you’re like Jennifer Rothschild, you wrestle with questions when you experience painful circumstances. Does God care? Does he hear my prayers? Is he even there?

Blinded as a teenager, Jennifer overcame daunting obstacles, found strength in God, and launched a successful speaking and writing ministry. Then in her 40’s, everything changed.

Jennifer hit a wall of depression and discontent that shook her to her core, undermining many of her past assumptions about her faith. Jennifer wondered who God was and why he continued to allow her to struggle and doubt. Where, Jennifer pleaded, is his hand of healing and hope in my life now?

To win, click here to leave a comment on the original blog post at MargaretFeinberg.com. The three winners will be selected and announced on Friday.

Congratulations to the winners: Krystal Maess, Alisha, Tricia 

What’s the most difficult aspect about unanswered prayers for you? How can we be praying for you as you hand over your biggest prayers to God?