Unanswered Prayer & the Holy Spirit | Iain Duguid

In The Whole Armor of God, Duguid concludes with a chapter on how prayer features into spiritual warfare. In the following quotation, he speaks on how the Spirit helps us to rest in God as our Father, even when our prayers go unanswered or He strips us of something that we love.

Good parents love their children unconditionally, but that doesn’t mean that they give them everything they ask for. Parents reserve the right to take away any or all toys if it is in the children’s best interests. If you heard that your children’s favorite teddy bear or special blanket had been recalled by the manufacturer because it contained toxic materials, wouldn’t you take it away from them? You’d share their sadness and their sense of loss, of course, and you’d cuddle them in their flood of tears, but you’d still take it away because it is in their best interests to do so. The toy they love so much could end up killing them.

So too God sometimes takes away our favorite toys because they are hampering our spiritual growth. He is not being mean or uncaring or punishing us; quite the reverse– it is the most loving thing he could possibly do for us at that moment, something absolutely necessary for our training in righteousness. Those who pray “in the Spirit” thus have a resource to help them in the face of unanswered prayers. They have a relationship with God as their loving Father. Sometimes, in the Spirit, they may feel the comforting presence of God with them through the darkest hours of life, even when it seems that none of their prayers are being heard or answered. At other times, even though they cannot feel that comforting presence, they are reminded that God’s smile still rests upon them, for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Pp. 110-111

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