And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:15)
One thing that we as followers of Jesus can be sure of is that God answers our prayers. The word “hear” in today’s key verse means not only to listen to something but to act on what is being heard. God does respond to our prayers. In fact, there is no such thing as an unanswered prayer. The Lord just answers our prayers in different ways.
Let’s take a look at the four different answers God can give to our prayers.
Yes – This is always our favorite answer to receive when we ask God for something. Sometimes, this answer comes almost immediately, which makes it even more exciting. If we’re being honest, this is the answer we hope for every time we pray for something.
Yes, but not now – With God, timing is everything. There are times when God may want for you what you want, but He just doesn’t want it at the same time you want it. What you’re asking for might be a really great thing, but He may ask you to wait for it.
Yes, but… - This answer comes when you and God want the same thing for your life, but the way He answers your prayer is different than what you had in mind. For instance, maybe you really want a career that allows you to help people, like becoming a lawyer or a doctor. The Lord wants you to be able to help people as well, but then He leads you into a career in ministry. You and God had the same goal in mind, but the execution was different. In this case, always remember that His ways are so much better than our own.
No – This is the toughest answer to receive from God, but we must never forget that if God says no, it’s because He has our best interest at heart. He could be protecting you from something. He could be saving you for something or someone better. You never know what God has for you down the road. So when He says no, don’t pout, don’t get upset, and don’t get angry. Just trust that He knows what’s best for you and that His “no” makes way for a better “yes.”
Dear Lord, thank you for always answering my prayers. Even though the answer might not be exactly what I hoped for, you never leave a single prayer unanswered. Give me wisdom to discern your answers to my prayers, and give me the faith I need to trust that no matter how you answer me, you always have my best interest in mind. Amen.