A hypothetical question, if you please, not a test of faith, but a simple acknowledgement of it. If the Lord decided to never answer another of your prayers, would you still live by faith?
Nearly every prophet, many of the apostles and other men who devoted their lives to God died horrible deaths, we are promised that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22) We are also promised that if we abide in Christ, (John 15:7) we can ask what we will, and it will be granted to us, so the question is of course a moot point, purely hypothetical, yet one worthy of contemplation.
Many believers do not know how to pray, they either become stuck in a religious form of repetition, or fear that their requests are either too small, and thus an inconvenience to the Lord, or too big, and they fear that they will not be answered. Some go as far as to think they are not worthy of any answer, for they live their lives with the proverbial log in their eyes, (Matt. 7:3) accumulating supposed sins, when indeed they are no more than the sinful man inside of them rearing his ugly head, and then many times when we begin to seek the Lord’s face in prayer. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)
How much more confidence in your prayer life do you need, will you continuously focus on every fault of your own, never releasing them to the Lord. Far too many have forgotten, or perhaps believe themselves to be unworthy, of calling Almighty God Father, forgetting the pleasures our Father has in answering our prayers, of granting our requests. “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” (Luke 11:11) “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matt. 6:26) With these and so many more throughout the Scriptures that prove that not only does our Father hear our prayers, but also answers them, the question is irrelevant, yet it stands, what would you do if the Lord decided to never answer another of your prayers.
My guess would be that the first thought that came into your mind is that life would go dramatically downhill in a hurry, but not so, for the promise would still stand, “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Perhaps what came to your mind was that you would feel completely isolated from the Lord, your fellowship with Him, as it were in this context, would be broken, yet He has promised, “He will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deut. 31:8)
There are those on this planet who pray, and the Lord God does not hear one single word that is directed to Him from them, in fact, even their thoughts are an abomination to Him. (Prov. 15:26) They are the lost, and until they repent and accept Christ as Lord, they will remain unheard. There are believers, true born-again believers, whose prayers go unheeded, for they are continuing in sin, living a life in the pleasures of the season of sin, (Heb. 11:25) for a while, and until they confess their sins (1 John 1:9) they will remain unheard, and outside of His good graces. All spiritually mature Christians have been the lost sheep, all whose heart is set to serve the Lord have at least at one time been the prodigal son. Jesus does not go looking for sheep that are not of His fold to return to His fold, and the Lord God calls no one a son who is not a brother to Christ.
So as you can see, in a sense, the question is not purely hypothetical, the lost can pray all they want, but until they call Jesus Lord, they will not be heard, believers can live much time in unrepentant sin, so much and so deeply that their salvation can even be questioned, and as long as they remain so, not one word will be heard by the Almighty. We cannot stay in God’s “good graces” by our own merits, but we can beg forgiveness each time we fall, we can ask Him to show us our secret sins, (Psalm 19:12) those we are unaware of, we can ask Him to keep us on the path of righteousness for His name’s sake, (Psalm 23:3) these prayers guarantee by His promises an answer.
The Lord is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, (Heb. 11:6) and every prayer of every believer who abides in the vine is guaranteed an answer. Knowing full well that every answer is meant to glorify His name is reason enough to pray with confidence, with the assurance that, “whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13) So then, it is left up to you to contemplate the answer to the question in your own heart, how would you live the rest of your life if the Lord never answered another one of your prayers. Would your faith remain strong, or falter. If He becomes silent, would you still speak to Him.