When The Answer Is No

Earlier in the week I met with a group of friends when the conversation turned to prayer.  We began to discuss various aspects of prayer, especially requests to God that did not get answered according to what we asked.  We’ve all experienced those moments in life when we desire something so strongly that we beg God to make it happen.

There are those who will bargain with God, promising never to ask for another thing if just this one request will be met.  Of course, that’s assuming that we are troubling and annoying God with our pleas.  Our loving heavenly Father loves it when we come to Him with those things that concern us.  We don’t have to make a promise of never bothering Him again.  We are always welcome to come to Him.

Then there will be those who turn away from God altogether when what they ask  for does not come to them.  Their anger and disappointment pushes them away from the One who only answers out of His vast love.  As a Father, there will be times when He says “yes” to what we ask.  He knows that receiving what we ask will indeed bring about great joy.  Equally, there will be times when He says “no.”  He knows that receiving what we ask will bring trouble our way or that what we ask will not bring about the greatest joy.  At other times He will answer “wait.”  Waiting is rarely an easy thing for any of  us.  It’s like a child waiting for Christmas, hoping  that what they have desired will indeed be under the tree.  Even so, there are times when He will answer “wait” because receiving at a later time will bring about the greatest joy.

Our Heavenly Father is vastly concerned with your happiness.  Jesus begins His famous Sermon On The Mount with instruction on how to be happy.  Of course, in the Beatitudes or the Happy-tudes, He is addressing things in our spiritual worlds, but being spiritually happy spills over into our physical worlds and brings contentment in all things — the good and the difficult.

When we pay attention to our spiritual health, we then find that our emotional strength is stronger, our peace is unshattered, and our faith in our Father’s ways is secure.  When we pay attention to our spiritual self, asking the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts, then we are ready for His answers to our prayers.  We will have a growing love and trust in our own hearts that allows Him to do as He sees best with our lives.  To live in such a manner is out of this world.  Ponder the following, a prayer of Jesus to His Father, concerning us:

“”I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  They do not belong to this world anymore than I do.  Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth.  Just as You sent me into the world,  I am sending them into the world.  And I give Myself as a sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by Your truth.”  John 17:15-19