When we pray, do we always assume that God is going to give us what we ask for? Often we use phrases such as “delay is not denial” “pray until something happens” “God only says yes and wait” which are very nice sentiments. Sad to say, we may be devoted followers of Christ yet still found ourselves not receiving what we earnestly prayed for. We can understand more than any about the will of God, believing we are asking in line with His will and His Word, but we still hear no. I am not talking about ‘not yet’ or ‘wait’ but a resounding and definite no. I understand as this happened to me. However, what if after all our prayers, fasting and midnight petitions; the answer we received was ‘no’. What do we do then?
God is not your genie
Well, firstly, we need to remember God is not a genie or magician granting us our unlimited wishes. He is our Almighty Father, with a will and a plan for our life that we do not see (1 Cori. 13:12). Our relationship with God should not be focused on what we can ask or get from God. That is the world’s way of thinking. We should be seeking something deeper.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.James 4:3
Understandably, it is not everything we ask for that will be directly related to the kingdom of God but what are we asking and how are we asking. We can use the scriptures that apply to our specific situations without fully grasping the entire context. Using scriptures to justify our asking rather than to know God. When the Word says, in Psalm 37:4, God will give us the desires of our heart, it first states we should delight ourselves in Him. In Matthew 7, before Jesus speaks on ‘asking to receive and seeking to find’, He first explains, in Matthew 6, that we should seek first the Kingdom of God. Our understanding of the “good things” God can give us is preceded by our fellowship with the Father.
Remember who God is
Sometimes, as Christians, we believe everything we ask for will automatically be given to us. Jesus says, “Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened” (Matt.7:7). But Jesus also in the garden of Gethsemane asked in a way that many of us do not. He asked then submitted the answer to be according to the will of God.
Saying, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me, nevertheless not my will but yours be done”Luke 22:42
Are we waiting for him to reveal His plans according to His will and great design or are we waiting for Him to answer as we have decided in our mind that He should? Oftentimes we can say “according to your will” but we really mean according to “how I believe your will should look in my life Lord”.
If our Lord and saviour walked how we prayed, we would not have salvation today. If Jesus, being God in human flesh decided to act on His will in the flesh, He would have walked away in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what the destruction of sin looked like as God, and could feel the pain, as man, yet He stayed. He chose to die. He chose to save us from our sin.
Let us wait on God with humble and surrendered hearts. The answer to our most earnest and pressing prayers can be no, yet we can be so fulfilled because Jesus said the most important yes.