In 1990, Garth Brooks released “Unanswered Prayers” as the second single off his album No Fences. The song was an immediate hit – reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and helping No Fences become Brooks’ best-selling studio album to date.
The song has since been one of Garth Brooks’ most popular recordings. It’s no surprise that he included the country ballad on several compilation albums, such as The Hits, Double Live, and The Ultimate Hits, as well as on the box set The Limited Series.
But did you know that “Unanswered Prayers” is a song that drew directly from Brooks’ relationship with his wife?
Meaning Behind The Song
Written by Garth Brooks along with songwriters Larry Bastian and Pat Alger, “Unanswered Prayers” tells the story of a man who ran into his high school sweetheart during a football game in their hometown. As he introduced her to his wife, he couldn’t help but reminisce about his old love and how he used to pray so fervently that God would make her his significant other.
However, times have changed, and he no longer sees her the way he used to. He turned to his wife and realized that some of God’s greatest gifts were unanswered.
In the book American Thunder: The Garth Brooks Story, the country singer revealed that the song about meeting what was once the woman of your dreams is based on a true story. In 1989, Brooks and his then-wife, Sandy Mahl, happened to bump into his old high school flame. It was then that he realized that “what you have is the best for you and the best you could ever do in your lifetime.”
And each time Brooks sings this song, it teaches him the same lesson.
You can listen to Garth Brooks’ “Unanswered Prayers” by playing the video below.