When God Says No

This past week I have been praying for something very specific.  It didn’t happen.

noNow comes the normal response that of all of us ask as we question what God is doing. 

I prayed, why didn’t He answer?  I mean, this was really important to me, how could He not answer my prayer and do what I wanted?

Have you found yourself questioning God when He doesn’t answer your prayers? Have you found yourself questioning how  you can trust Him when He knew how important it was to you? Or find yourself saying, “Why pray at all if He doesn’t answer anyway?”

I’m sure you could add a dozen other questions to this list that you have asked as the plans and prayers you hoped for didn’t come true and didn’t materialize.

What is God doing?  What’s His plans for us?  How do we navigate this topic of prayer when often the things we ask for are very important to us?  Now what?  Can we trust Him?  Should I even pray for things again since He didn’t answer this prayer?  Doesn’t He know how important this was to me?

The emotions of unanswered prayer are intense.  The hoped for expectations that are crushed by a prayer unanswered are confusing.  Now what? Where do we go from here?

There are often no words for the emotions that follow an unanswered prayer.  Unanswered prayers make us ask questions…especially when He has invited us to ask!

For me, after many years of knowing God, I realized that often my dreams and visions are not the best thing for me…and so I trust God for his plans, his directions….but it’s hard, isn’t it?  It’s hard when we asked, we wanted, we hoped…and He replied with silence. God's No

But I have found that some of the greatest gifts that God has ever given me is NOT answering all of my prayers.  When He has said NO or simply did not give me a clear answer to my prayers, I have found that in those unanswered prayers, I have witnessed things working out better than I ever imagined.  God’s “No” is not a rejection, but rather a redirection.

I shudder to think what would have happened to me if God would have answered and gave me all that I have prayed for.  

The bottom line for all of this is simply this:  God loves us.  God is sovereign and His love, His plans, and His wisdom direct our lives for His glory and our good.  

It doesn’t mean we always get what we want.

Solomon wrote these words,

“The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

When God says “No” I rely on these truths:

God loves me.  He has my best interest in mind.  He has a plan for my life.  He’s sovereign.  I can trust Him to accomplish the best for me…..even when He says “No”.

In moments like this, when I don’t understand His “No” I go back to the verses that direct me when I don’t have answers…the verses that calm my confused and disheartened mind,

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”


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