Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Tim Keller on Unanswered Prayer

Tim Keller, reflecting on the passage, "Don't be anxious but make requests to God with thanksgiving", writes that, "We would expect Paul to say first you make your requests to God and then, you thank him for the answers. But that is not what Paul says." Keller then illustrates his point with a story from his early twenties:

I prayed for an entire year about a girl I was dating and wanted to marry, but she wanted out of the relationship. All year I prayed, "Lord, don't let her break up with me." Of course, in hindsight, it was the wrong girl. I actually did what I could to help God with the prayer, because one summer, near the end of the relationship, I got in a location that made it easier to see her. I was saying, "Lord, I am making this as easy as possible for you. I have asked you for this, and I have even taken the geographical distance away." But as I look back, God was saying, "Son, when a child of mine makes a request, I always give that person what he or she would have asked for if they knew everything I know" [emphasis PreachingToday.com].

Related Sermon Illustrations

Petitions That Honor Our King

Travel back 200 years in Christian history to John Newton, the slave-trader-turned-pastor and hymn writer. He would receive almost unbelievable answers to his prayers because he believed ...

[Read More]

The Third Stage of Prayer—Giving Thanks

The Minnesota storyteller Kevin Kling was born with a birth defect—his left arm was disabled and much shorter than his right. Then, in his early 40s, a motorcycle accident nearly ...

[Read More]