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When Your Prayer for Pain Relief Goes Unanswered [3 Things to Know]

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When you experience painful circumstances, the first and best thing you should do is pray. Finding a prayer for pain relief should be at the forefront of what to do.

But God does not always answer those prayers the way we prefer- instantly and exactly the way we want. When God doesn’t answer your prayer for pain relief and instead chooses to allow you to experience suffering, it can be confusing and hurtful.

When Your Prayer for Pain Relief Goes Unanswered

Of course, the enemy will use that to plant seeds of doubt, discouragement, and despair.  There are 7 devices of the devil that he uses consistently to draw us away from God. One of those is through disabilities- anything that weakens our mind, body, and spirit, that limits our mental or physical abilities.

Pain and suffering could cause us to drift into unbelief, but it is also an opportunity to mature in faith and exercise being sober-minded.

A woman with a sober mind filters everything through God’s word and replaces lies with truth. She directs her emotions to take a back seat and remembers what is true about God.

Here are 3 things to remember about God when your prayer for pain relief goes unanswered to help you be sober-minded and stay strong in the faith:

  1. God is sovereign
  2. He is good
  3. He is faithful

Remember God is Sovereign in Your Pain and Suffering

One of the attributes of God that bring such comfort in suffering is His sovereignty. That means that He is the supreme authority, and He is in control. Even when our world seems to be crashing down around us, God is still on the throne, ruling and reigning over all creation.

Remembering God’s sovereignty brings consolation in my pain because it reminds me that it’s not in vain, and there is a purpose for it.

Nothing passes through His loving hands and to us without His consent. He either causes things or He allows them to happen.

We see that truth in action with the story of Job, and how Satan had to have God’s permission to afflict Job. (Job 1:1-12) God allowed Job’s suffering in order to strengthen Job’s faith and to deepen his understanding of God, among other things. (Job 42:5)

Romans 8:28 KJV ~ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Remember God is Good Even if You Don’t Feel Good

That brings us to the age-old question “If God is in control, why doesn’t he stop all pain and suffering? He either doesn’t love me, or he isn’t a good God.” This is where our faith is tested. We will either resort to human reasoning, relying solely on what we can see, or we will walk by faith instead.

Faith says:

  • I believe God’s word.
  • I trust His omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence.
  • God is who He says He is.
  • God can do what He says He can
  • I will praise Him even when I don’t understand my circumstances.

When looking for a prayer for pain relief, try these Bible verses about how God is good to use in your prayer!

Psalm 34:8 KJV ~ O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 100:5 KJV ~ For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 145:9 KJV ~ The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

Lamentations 3:25 KJV ~ The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

Nahum 1:7 KJV ~ The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

God’s Word is True Even if Your Prayer for Pain Relief is Unanswered

Whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental anguish you are experiencing, it is vital to your wellbeing that you believe that the Bible is God’s word and it is true. If you don’t trust the Bible, if that is not your baseline for forming your opinions and guiding your decisions, then you won’t have stability in the storms of life.  

God reveals himself through the pages of scripture, but if we don’t take the time to open it up then we won’t have much faith in times of trouble.

I have had chronic pain and illness for over 20 years now. Despite many requests for healing, I still suffer daily. I don’t know why God hasn’t answered the way I would like him to yet, but I do know that my prayers for pain relief have been heard and that God is at work in me.

You see, God wants me to have the same intimate knowledge of Him as He does of me. He has taught me about grace, hope, patience, love, and pressing on in adversity through this suffering. I have learned so much about the Lord’s character and faithfulness. And I have faith that God is good even if I don’t feel good, because I believe His word.

God’s Grace Enables You to Endure Pain When it’s not Eliminated

Jesus is the Great Physician. He healed lepers, opened the eyes of the blind, staunched the flow of blood; straightened the crooked backs, and caused the deaf and mute to hear and speak. The Lord holds the power to make the pain go away, but He doesn’t always choose to, for reasons known only to Him.

Consider the Apostle Paul and his “thorn in the flesh” described in 2Corinthians chapter 12. Verse 8 says that he begged for the Lord to rid him of it three times. But God said in love “my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

We don’t know exactly what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. Commentators say it could have been a physical infirmity brought on by the many beatings, stonings, and imprisonments he endured.

2Corinthians 12:9 is often the answer I get for my prayer for pain relief. Instead of removing my thorn in the flesh, God has given me supernatural grace to sustain me through it. Chronic pain and illness keep me humble and dependent on the Lord. And that is exactly where I need to be.

Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV ~ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Remember God is Faithful Even in Pain and Suffering

When you feel like your prayer for pain relief goes unanswered, remember that God is sovereign, He is good, His word is true, His grace is sufficient, and He is always faithful. The Lord is with you in your suffering.

Isaiah 41:10 KJV ~ Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

It is a beautiful truth I return to in the loneliness and isolation of chronic pain. God is always with me, he will never leave me or fail me. And dear friend, the Lord is on that path of pain you are walking on too. He is always working in ways that you don’t see.

You may be frustrated because your prayer for pain relief seems to have fallen on deaf ears. And you have prayed for healing but you or a loved one are still suffering. I encourage you to take those frustrations to the Lord and ask for wisdom. Instead of praying for relief, ask the Lord to show you what He is teaching you.

Pour out your heart to Him. Ask for eyes to see Him at work; For ears to hear His voice above the racket that pain causes. He may not answer your prayer for pain relief in the way you want him to. But always remember: God loves you! He is sovereign, good, and faithful to respond according to His perfect will in His perfect timing.


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Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Annie. My husband struggles with chronic pain due to numerous back surgeries. As his wife, it’s hard to see him suffer. I appreciate your empathetic message to those who suffer. Our God is an ever present help in time of need. Thank you for this insightful blog.

Alonda Tanner

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

The thing I always cling to is that He is faithful. I don't always have all the answers and I don't always understand why, but there is a "why" and HE has all the answers. So I can have hope because His love for me is real and He is faithful.


Monday 23rd of August 2021

God is still good even when you don't feel good. This is a real life story of trusting him in all things. May God continue to keep you and may your story continue to encourage others.

Alonda Tanner

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Amen, He is always good!!

Cindy Schwerdtfeger

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Annie- this is so well said. While I don’t know your pain you suffer with, I under the asking for healing and removal of the pain. I have asked the same thing too and have landed on 2Corinthians 12:9 as well. Keep hanging in there and He will continue to see you through it!

Cindy Schwerdtfeger


Monday 23rd of August 2021

Thank you for the encouragement Cindy! You’re a blessing! :-)

Patti Beck Burkett

Monday 23rd of August 2021

Thank you for encouraging my heart today. I'm in the midst of an extra tough season with my chronic illness and caring for family members with illness too. I really needed these reminders!


Friday 3rd of September 2021

Praise the Lord! God knows exactly what we need to hear and when. I am praying for you, Patti! 💕

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