November 4, 2008
God's Three Answers to Prayer 

Matthew 7:7-11

Too often, believers view almighty God as a great cosmic Santa Claus in the sky: we think of our prayers not as petitions, but as demands. Then, if God does not grant our request, we’re thrown into a faith crisis, believing He no longer answers us. The real problem, however, is that we misunderstand the Lord’s three answers to prayer:

Yes. We love this response! There’s nothing more exhilarating or faith-inspiring than watching the Lord move mountains in order to provide what we once saw as impossible.

No. Here is where the problems begin for us. But we must accept the fact that God says “no” to some of our requests. This is certainly not because He’s greedy or uncaring—on the contrary, He is generous, loving, and concerned about His children.

Matthew 7:11 does not say God will give “everything to those who ask Him,” does it? No, it says that the heavenly Father will give what is good to those who ask. Quite often, giving “what is good” means that He doesn’t agree to things He knows are wrong for us.

Wait. This answer can be even harder than a flat-out “no.” Yet some things that are good and right and godly may still be wrong for us today. Remember, God is eternal; He sees all time at the same time. If He regards tomorrow’s blessing as a curse today, He’ll withhold it for a season until we’re ready to receive it.

Friend, do not be misled if God’s response is not what you expected—or wanted—to hear. Instead, praise the Lord for answering our requests the way He knows they should be answered!

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