By Josh Christian, student news writer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — “Some of us wonder why God isn’t answering our prayers. It is because God is answering an even bigger prayer. We are dreaming too small,” Dr. Joel Carwile, pastor of First Baptist Church in Athens, Ala. and a member of the Board of Trustees at Campbellsville University, said at Campbellsville University’s chapel service recently in the Ransdell Chapel.
Carwile spoke on prayer, saying that “it was always good to keep it practical.” He also shared several ways to become a better prayer warrior.
Walking on to the University of Alabama’s football team, Carwile hoped to obtain a full scholarship by the end of the first semester. He prayed for it, but when the end of the semester came, he didn’t receive the scholarship.
“Sometimes you’ve been praying and it’s not answered. Sometimes God says, ‘No.’ Sometimes God says, ‘Not yet,’” Carwile said.
“The first secret to unanswered prayers is faithfulness,” Carwile said.
Referencing Paul’s words from 1 Thessalonians, he encouraged those in attendance to pray without ceasing, in all circumstances.
“I pray all the time because I need to pray all the time,” Carwile said.
He also referenced Matthew 7, saying we should continually pray and that God will answer our prayers.
“Some of you are at Campbellsville University because you kept asking, you kept seeking God, and you are just a few semesters from graduating,” Carwile said.
He explained God could have something better in store for you than what you’ve asked for.
“Seek the will and peace of God, and God will always go far beyond what you will ask,” Carwile said.
Sometimes God also doesn’t answer prayers because he knows by giving you what you ask for, it could hurt you more than help you, Carwile said. “What looks like rejection is often protection,” Carwile said.
“God wanted to strategically place you in the right time and right place,” Carwile said.
According to Carwile, sometimes God also works behind the scene, while working to answer prayers.
He said he had prayed about going to Cuba for years, before one day after speaking at convocation at Campbellsville University, he was approached by Dr. Twyla Hernandez, executive director of the Hispanic Bible Institute and associate professor of Christian missions at Campbellsville University, who asked him about going to Cuba.
“I knew when it came to pass, it didn’t come by happenstance, and it was definitely not a coincidence,” Carwile said.
“We aren’t meant to understand everything this side of heaven,” Carwile said.
But Carwile did assure those in attendance that we still walk by faith.
“God is with us. He has got our back,” Carwile said. “We can trust Him.”