When God Says No {How God Answers Prayers | Part 1}

We can sometimes wonder if God really answers our prayers, but He always answers. In fact, there are three ways that God will always answer our prayers: with either a “no,” a “yes,” or a “wait.” It's up to us to receive His answer and trust Him with it, but He definitely answers. Today, we are starting a three-part series on the three ways that God answers our prayers, and today, we’ll talk about when God says “no.”

 One way God will answer our prayers, specifically our petition to Him, is with a “no.” Of course, this is not the answer that any of us wants, which is why I'm starting with the no answer first, because generally, we want to start with the bad news before we start getting into the good news and getting what we want.

Have you ever experienced asking for something from the Lord, and his answer was “no”? It's important for us to realize and remember that our prayers are not to treat God like He's some genie out to grant our every wish. That's not what prayer is about. Prayer is about connecting with the God of the universe, and the God that saved us so that we can be filled up and spiritually alive.

So, sometimes when we come to God, and we make our requests, God might say, “no, that's not for you.” And what I want to encourage you with is that when God says no, He doesn't take it lightly.

A ‘no” doesn't mean that God doesn't care about what you want. It doesn't mean that He doesn't care about what you're crying out for. It just means He had other plans. It's up to us to choose if we'll trust Him in that truth. I know that some of you have received some really hard “nos” that are really challenging to walk through. You prayed that they would be healed. You prayed that the financial strain wouldn't crush you. You prayed that you would get that opportunity, and it never happened. I'm not taking this lightly, and saying sometimes God says no, just have faith. No, I'm not saying that. What I'm saying is that God's heart, even in His answer of a “no,” is still for your good because that's who He is. Romans 8:28 says:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

The scripture doesn't say it works out when you get a “yes,” or “wait,” it says all things.

That means even when the answer to your prayer is “no,” God is saying “no” because He's still working that situation out for your good and His glory. 

I want to encourage you to know that we serve a Savior, Jesus Christ, who understands the tension, pain, and suffering of receiving a “no” from God the Father because He did too before His crucifixion. Jesus prayed to God to take the cup of suffering from Him so that He wouldn't have to go on the cross if there were any other way. God didn't answer that prayer with a “yes” to His own Beloved Son. Why? Because God knew that it had to be done in order for us to be saved. In Luke 22:42, Jesus makes his request:

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42 NLT)

God's desire was not for His Son to just suffer. His will was to bring salvation to the world. In the same way, God's will is never for you to be in pain or hurting or sick, but His will is to use that for your sanctification, for His glory, and for your good.

I've shared a little bit with you about some health challenges that I experienced with a debilitating neck injury a few years ago that left me in so much pain. I wanted God to heal me right away, but instead, He walked with me through months of physical therapy, massage therapy, and all kinds of medical care and years of nutritional guidance and supplements to get me back on my feet.

At the onset of that challenge, I remember thinking about how my children were watching me go through that and seeing their mother in so much pain. I made a point to have a conversation with my daughter because I wanted to use it as a teaching moment with her to trust God even when bad things happen, and to trust Him, even when His answer is “no” in that moment.

I said, “Baby girl, you know, mommy went through a lot of things this year and I was in a lot of pain, but I trust that God has a heart for me and I know that He wouldn't have me go through all that if there wasn't a really good reason. I don't know what that reason is and I don't know why our family had to work through all of that pain and suffering that came with it, but I do trust the heart of the Father.” 

Maybe that was it. Maybe that was God's reason: to get me to trust Him even in the dark. Maybe God's “no” to your prayer is an opportunity for you to trust Him, even when things aren't going well. If there's one thing that I've learned from that dark season, it is that even in the dark, God is for you. Romans 8:37-39 says:

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)

I remember reading this scripture in college, and it just meant so much to me because it provided such a solid foundation for my faith that there was nothing I could do, there was nothing anyone else could do to me, there was nothing that could happen to me that could separate me from God's love, and that meant everything. And it still does because it's that truth that will ground you when life turns upside-down, when things don't go your way, and when you wanted a “yes,” but you got a “no.” There's always that truth that you can stand on, that God is with you, He's for you, and He's in you through His Holy Spirit. Especially in dark seasons, when the answer is “no.”

Now I’d love to hear from you Beloved. How have you learned to trust God when His response to your prayers is not what you desire? Let’s encourage one another in the comments.

Did you know God made us all beautifully different even in the way we pray? That’s right. Your prayer personality is the unique way you are most likely to communicate with God and knowing which of the 3  prayer personality types you have can equip you to hear from God more clearly and overcome any obstacles to your communication with Him. 

I invite you to take my Prayer Personality Quiz to learn how you best hear from God, how you most likely connect with Him in prayer, and to just have a little fun. Take the quiz now at prayquiz.com or find the link in the description of today’s video. Then be sure to come back and comment to let me know your results.

If you enjoyed today’s videos, will you do me a favor and share it with a friend because you just never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. 

For more Beloved encouragement, be sure to join the Beloved Women app for instant access to the most highly curated collection of spiritual growth videos for Christian women where you can enjoy daily audio devotions, hundreds of videos, and guided prayer meditations conveniently in the palm of your hand. I look forward to connecting with you there. 

As always, thank you so much for watching, and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and be loved.