Sometimes the answer is NO…

People want a lot of things. We pray for a lot of things.  Every morning I wake up I pray for the prosperity and health of my family and friends, and the focus and strength to accomplish all the tasks that I need to do that day.  But every now and then our prayers get a little more specific. We pray for a job. We pray for the perfect relationship. We pray for wealth and the health of ill family members.  All prayers get answered, but we do not always get what we specifically pray for.  Thus, the question eventually becomes, why not?  Sometimes it’s not even for us!  We pray for others to get a job.  For others to get healthy.  For others to find happiness.  When we do not get what we prayed for does it mean that God doesn’t care or that he ignored us?  As in everything in life, it’s easy to get discouraged when we don’t get the things we feel we need or really want.  But the good news is that God does hear our prayers. He knows what we need and want before we even ask for them.  When we don’t get what we specifically prayed for the answer is simple: Sometimes God’s answer is No…

But “doesn’t He want to say yes?”  “I thought The Bible says that he wants to give us the desires of our hearts?”  Well, yes, God does want to say yes, and give us the desires of our heart.  But more importantly, the fulfillment of God’s will on earth takes precedence over any one individual’s wants or needs.  The problem is that we have tried to make our will for our life God’s will for our life and not the other way around.  We want God to operate on our time instead of His.  Sure, God wants to say yes and fulfill every single one of our prayers filled with wants and desires; but he also wants you to want and desire the same things that He wants and desires.  It’s up to us to learn those things.  More importantly, we should want God to say no to prayers that are inconsistent and incompatible with His will for our life or that would harm our relationship with Him.  God would be doing us a great disservice if He led us into harm, or worst, sin.  He loves us; and just like anyone who loves another person genuinely, He wouldn’t willingly lead us into harm’s way.  Thus, when we ask for things that lead us away from His will for our life, we should be grateful that we did not get it, lest we be worse off than we were before we prayed!

If God wants to “give us the desires of our hearts,” then why does He say no?  For many things in life that we pray for the answer is simple, it’s not in His plan for us.  What about the seemingly meaningless things, or small, day to day or personal wishes that we make?  That job that you really want, really need, or maybe you’ve put in the hard work and years of schooling and you really deserve it; why don’t we get those prayers answered?  The first question you have to ask yourself is what are you praying for and why?  For a good portion of the population, what you prayed for is for your own individual wealth, health, and prosperity, and simultaneously, the harm of someone else.  Sometimes we really pray that the joker who did us wrong really gets what they deserve.  Or maybe you pray for others for selfish reasons; you pray that someone gets a job so that they can pay back the money they owe you.  You pray for someone to get back on their feet so they can finally get out of your house.  Yes, we can specifically pray for things that benefit us and others specifically, but we must continually be praying for God’s will to be done in our lives and those we love no matter what.  Praying for individual wealth is a popular one, and yet the majority of the people remain poor.  This is by no means an accident.

Now, if you really want, need, or feel like you deserve to have a prayer answered then why, still, does God say no?  The answer is you either: (1) don’t need it, (2) don’t deserve it, or (3) you’re not ready to have what you’re praying for.  Every day we pray for things that we want but don’t need, and if we got those things, it would be a disaster.  Never get a want mixed up and confused with a need.  Secondly, we pray for things we think we deserve but have done nothing to merit.  We barely pick up our Bible or display any gratitude and yet we think just because we haven’t killed anyone today or committed any significant crime that God should cut us some slack.  Hey, there are a lot worst people out there, right?  But a lot of things we pray for we aren’t ready to receive.  Some people pray for a new, fancy job that they want, really need, but don’t deserve.  You could barely handle the responsibility and schedule of fast food.  To be placed in a position of higher authority with greater responsibility would be an injustice!  Why would God want to do you a disservice by giving you a job you can’t handle, and responsibility you’re not ready to receive?  Thus, many prayers go unanswered because we want them but don’t need them, want them for selfish reasons only, and we aren’t ready to receive what we’ve been praying for.  Again, it is in our best interest that God says no to prayers that we aren’t ready for or that do more harm than good in the fulfillment of His plan for our lives.  We should be thankful…

What should you do if God says no?  Whatever you were praying for, don’t force it.  How many people have prayed for a relationship or to get married so badly that they grew impatient, operating on their own time, and found out that they weren’t ready to be married, married the wrong person, and their life just got worst?  Forcing yourself or someone else to have something they’re not ready for, don’t need, or don’t deserve is more likely to result in suffering than happiness.  Patience is a great way to exercise and reinforce one’s faith.  When something does not come when, or how you want it, this is the perfect time to operate in faith.  Meaning, God has something else, better, in store for you and your life, and if you just be patient and wait for it, you will recognize how much better off you will be.  But again, how many people are capable of delaying their own personal satisfaction?  Thus, when God says no to what you’ve prayed for, move on and discover what God wants in your life and go after that thing.  Be patient, because when one door closes, God has always opened up another.

Most people are always looking for the answer to getting what they want, thus it’s necessary to ask: what must I do for God to say yes to my prayers?  Simply, align your will with His.  This means, make what God wants and what you want one and the same; one and the same will.  How do we learn God’s will?  How do I know God’s will for me?  To know God’s will you have to get to know Him.  Personally.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to church and sit in the front row every Sunday.  Start by reading your Bible.  Just like knowing what your wife or significant other wants, you have to seek it; ask and listen.  Open your Bible, or whatever source you consider to be the foundation of your beliefs, and read it.  Once you get to know God intimately, you will want to want the same things as He.  You will yearn to accomplish His will for your life.  There is nothing more fulfilling than realizing and accomplishing God’s will for your life.  But you have to take to the time to ask and listen to what that is.  If you find something that doesn’t comply with your lifestyle, desires, or what you think you want, then ask God to help you see His way and give you understanding and strength to overcome your fears so that you can see it His way.

Everyday I pray.  It’s a personal and intimate experience that should be a major part of everyone’s daily life.  Sometimes I would get discouraged when I fell on hard times, and I would pray to God that I needed a job “right now,” or if he would just bring this person into my life, then I would be complete and happy, and those things didn’t happen.  At first it would make me question my faith and ask if He even cared or if He was listening.  But the more I learned about Him, and how He cares for us, spent time in the word and reading my Bible daily, I came to the realization that: sometimes the answers to our prayers is “No.”  And for that I’m grateful…

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