Sunday, April 27, 2008

When God Says No

When God Says, "No"
April 21, 2008
Luke 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Jesus was earnestly praying shortly before He was executed on the cross. His prayer request was that He did not truly have to die on the cross, as His flesh had no desire to go through that physical torture. Jesus asked God to take "this cup," which represented Jesus having to spill His blood on the cross. But we all know how the story continues. Jesus went to the cross and gave His life that day, as God did not honor that prayer request of Jesus. God answered the earnest prayer request with a "no."

No one wants to admit it, but sometimes God does not answer our prayer requests. This does not mean He doesn't hear them, but He chooses something better through not honoring the prayer request the way we intend it. In the case of Jesus' death on the cross, mankind can now have eternal salvation. What a great ending to the story. If God had honored Jesus' prayer request of not going to the cross that day, you and I would be eternally damned to Hell. I'd say that I am thankful God did not honor Jesus' prayer request.

This sits well with us in the case of Jesus' death on the cross, but not in our own situation. We feel that if we pray hard enough and believe strong enough, the prayer request will be honored by God, no matter what. But sometimes that is not the case. I have known a pastor or two who was not healed of cancer, despite their earnest prayer requests for healing. The reason for this...God has something better in store that meets His design for you and mankind. If God is not answering your prayer request, then consider long and hard that God has something more important in mind; something either better for you or better for your fellow man because of it.

Notice the rest of Jesus' prayer, "yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus knew that God's will was far more important than what Jesus wanted. And Jesus knew that God's will was better, far better than answering it the way Jesus wanted. So, too, in your situation. If it seems that God is answering your prayer request with a "no," then consider that God has something more important in store for you and your specific situation.

1. Have any prayer requests not answered?
2. Have you considered that God has something more important in mind?

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