Why bother praying if we don’t expect answers.
Common thought says the answer
will be yes, wait or
no—I’ve got something better in mind.
So many times God gives us our hearts’ desires (Psa. 37:4) that we expect yes’s to our prayers.
Nobody ever hears or sees the Father say no (John 5:37). For us yes seekers, He’s the right one to pray to!
What seems like a no
may well be the opportunity to persevere like the Luke 18 widow. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily” (verses 7-8). Even the unjust judge answered the widow’s persistent request, and God is so just. Just keep asking!
If God says “just you wait,” it’s because He knows Henry Higgins needs to learn some valuable lesson besides that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. “The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:3-4).
It looks like three times God said no to Paul. Actually He told Paul, “Yes, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness'” (2 Cor. 12:9).
It looks like God said no to David, though he pleaded for his child with Bathsheba during seven days of heartfelt fasting (2 Sam. 12:16-18). I’ve never fasted for more than two days. So what an effort David made! Actually, God told David: yes, I forgive sin, but it has disastrous consequences so you must choose to reject it.
Astoundingly, Paul and David are
The only two examples in the Bible
that I’ve seen where healing was asked for and not quickly granted. God says He is our Healer, and people in the Bible were healed!
So what about all the people we know on our long list of those needing healing? It seems like YHVH-Ropha is saying a loud NO to so many. I can’t help thinking, if only they had been in the Bible!
Is there anything we can do so God doesn’t say no?
Yes, yes, yes
Jesus calls us friends (John 15:15), and friends want to hear from each other. God wants to hear our prayers, and He wants us to reason with Him (Isa. 1:18). Some matters take prayer and fasting (Mark (9:29).
But we should never think we can tell God what to do. We should never fast to make our voice heard on high (Isa. 58:4).
The model prayer Jesus gave teaches near the top: “Your will be done” (Matt. 6:10).
At His greatest time of need in the Garden of Gethsemane, three times Jesus prayed for one hour, passionately asking that there might be some other way than His suffering ahead. The answer would have been no. Jesus knew that because He and the Father had planned everything from the foundation!
But Jesus always ended His prayers with
“Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39)
We should always pray the same way, whether for healing or any other matter. The Master Timer knows the best time. And He knows what and how would be the best for all concerned.
Healing is guaranteed, if only in the resurrection. It is appointed unto all to die once (Heb. 9:27). We need trials to develop patience, perfection and completion (James 1:4).
If we pray for God’s will, not our own, God won’t say no. It’s a guaranteed “yes, I will. Now buckle up and see what I’ve got in mind.”