Phil Yancey in Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? struggles with unanswered prayer.
“Some, but not all, unanswered prayers trace back to a fault in the one who prays. Some, but not all, trace back to God’s mystifying respect for human freedom and refusal to coerce. Some, but not all, trace back to dark powers contending against God’s rule. Some, but not all, trace back to a planet marred with disease, violence, and the potential for tragic accident. How then, can we make any sense of unanswered prayer?” (p.232)
After exploring many avenues to understand unanswered prayer Yancey concludes his chapter….”the only final solution to unanswered prayer is Paul’s explanation to the Corinthians: ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.’ No human being, no matter how wise or how spiritual, can interpret the ways of God, explain one miracle and not another, why an apparent intervention here and not there. Along with the apostle Paul, we can only wait, and trust.” (p.247)