Bible Verses: Isaiah 55:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:8-9; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Romans 5:3-4
This one almost seems like a trick question! My first, knee-jerk reaction to this question is, “of course, God always answers my prayers. It’s just that there are times when he might not answer them the WAY I WANT him to!”
Or maybe you have heard in the past that God answers your prayer in three possible ways—yes, no, and wait. Perhaps.
I’d like to suggest a more helpful way to look at this question, and so that you might remember these, let’s let them all rhyme. Ready?
Here we go!
NO—there are times that God just simply says “no” to your prayer. This is crystal clear with the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9.
He says “no” when the IDEA is not correct.
After my first year of college, I remember thinking that I had possibly found the girl that would become my wife. But that summer, I realized this wasn’t meant to be. I could have been upset with God, who I heard shouting, “no.” But He knew what I did not know. He knew that I would meet this marvelous young lady by the name of Sharon only a few months later. The idea of my prayer was not right, and God said “No!” (Thank you, Jesus! I have now been happily married to Sharon for almost 45 years!)
SLOW—when the timing isn’t right, God says, “slow.” It’s not that you don’t have the right idea in your prayer; it’s just not the right timing yet. Perhaps it’s like fruit. If you pick a green banana off the tree and eat it, you won’t love it. But, sometimes, God knows that we just have a little more time to wait.
GROW—this is how God answers when YOU aren’t right. The idea and timing may be okay, but you are not. Sometimes I think I know exactly what I need and when I need it. God can see that I’m being selfish, and if I received it now, it would NOT be in my best interest. There are times when I am praying for something that doesn’t seem to be happening, and I can sense God wants me to ask, “Lord, is there something IN me that needs to change?” Is there someplace I need to grow? See Romans 5:3-4
GO!!—I love this one. When everything is right, God says GO! The idea is right, the timing is right, and you are right! These are the fun answers, and God loves to say yes!
So, what are you praying about right now, and what is God saying?
Day 9 Challenge: Look back at the last year of praying and locate one instance each where God said “No,” “Slow,” and “Grow.” What did you learn about God from each of those?
Prayer Prompt: For God’s justice to prevail in the world’s injustices