I believe that God answers every prayer. But it’s crucial for us to remember who we’re talking to in prayer. We’re not giving God orders and He’s not at all hesitant about the way He answers.
The first answer is “Yes.” That’s the most frequent answer you get to prayer. I have never asked for strength and not received it. I have never, ever prayed for wisdom and not received it. But I have often not prayed for wisdom and regretted the decisions that I made. When I’ve applied James 1:5 and recognized my lack of wisdom and asked God to supply, He has delivered! Most biblical praying receives an immediate “Yes.”
God’s second answer to prayer is “No.” That’s why James 4:2 says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” But the only time you get a “no” is if you pray for stupid stuff or if you pray for good stuff with a timeline. I have found God very unresponsive to my ultimatums. God doesn’t respond to blustering, bluffing, or threats. If we’re praying foolishly, we’ll get a “no.”
But if I’m praying according to God’s will, entrusting my future in God’s hands, He has a third option: “Wait.” The only thing between you and the delayed “yes” is time. How often do we forfeit our “delayed yes” through doubt? God has made promises about a lot of stuff, but He retains the sovereign choice of timing. So we pray unceasingly, and we wait patiently.
Prayer: Father, I don’t want to derail Your promises by my doubts and impatience. Thank You for reminding me that Your timing is perfect, that Your ways are right, and that Your plans are always best! Help me to keep returning to Your promises and resting in You as I wait to see Your answers to my prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.