– J.C. Ryle
No, It’s Not Best
Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth Bell Graham, was glad for unanswered prayer because she prayed to marry a man, but it was not the man God had appointed for her to marry. Only later did she realize that Billy Graham was whom she was meant to marry. For her, she was glad–but only later–that God’s answer to her prayer was “no” and that sometimes the best answer to a prayer is “no, it’s not best for you.”
No, Not Yet but in My Time
Daniel once prayed but had to wait three weeks before his answer came, even though God heard him on the very first day of his prayer (Dan. 10:13). Sometimes, as in the case of Daniel, there is a spiritual war going on that cannot be seen with human eyes. At other times, God’s answer is “no, not yet, but in My time.” God’s timing is always perfect, even when our timing isn’t.
No, There’s Something Better Coming
There are times the answer is no because God has something much better for you, and you surely want what God wants because what God wants for you is always better than you or I even know. If God says no, then think about this: He might have something much better for you. But we can always trust God to give us what is best for us, and it’s not always want we think.
Yes, But Do This First
Maybe God is waiting for you or I to do something first before God says yes. That might be to confess some sin, to apologize to a friend or church member, or to get our own house in order first so that we can receive the answer. Only then will it do us the most good.
Yes, I Will
Finally, the answer might be yes, but it might not come immediately, or God might use someone else to be the answer to that prayer. God typically uses other people to answer our prayer requests, and we shouldn’t turn down other people who are willing to help when they offer it. We have to be open to the idea that God might answer it Himself supernaturally or He might use natural means to answer it by using other people.
God is a good Father. He always hears and answers our prayers, and He has the greatest wisdom there is. He might answer “no, it’s not best for you.” He might answer “no, not yet but in My time.” He might answer “no, I have something much better for you.” He might be asking you or I to do something first, and He might be saying yes, but be open to that answer coming through Him or someone else.