“When God says “No”
So my question for you this morning is: Does God ALWAYS answer our prayer?
In my life and in your life, God will always answer our prayers in one of 3 ways:
SOMETIMES, His answer is YES …
Sometimes it’s WAIT …
and sometimes it’s NO …
We are happy when God says YES.
We can get impatient when He says WAIT.
But when God says no, that’s harder for us to accept isn’t it?
No can be the answer we really don’t want to receive,
even when we pray that God’s will is what will be done in our lives,
even when we say Lord we trust you, your ways are perfect,
a no answer is still difficult for us to deal with because, somewhere deep inside, we thought God would say yes.
Maybe you are like me, maybe there have been times when you have prayed expecting a Yes answer, or maybe a wait answer and yet God has said no.
When I was made redundant from my job in the city, I prayed that God would provide another job there for me.
For days I prayed and I assumed that as the job still had not come that God’s answer to my prayer was wait.
Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and months turned into two and a half years.
There were days when I could not understand why God was making me wait, when was the Yes going to come.
I was trusting in Him, that in His perfect plan for me, He would lead me back to a job in London.
No, was not the answer I expected to my prayer, but in God’s will and purpose it was the right answer to my prayer.
God had other plans for me, the answer to the prayer for a job in London was No, because His plan was for me to accept a full-time call to ministry.
God knew the best answer to my prayer.
God will NEVER give us anything that is not right for us, He will never do something that is outside of His perfect will and purpose for us.
At times we may think we know what is best, yet God knows what is really best for us.
We really need to learn to trust God more.
The verses I want us to focus on this morning are John 14:13-14,
Because a No answer from God is difficult for us to accept and understand when the words of Jesus recorded in this passage say:
You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
Jesus did not say “Ask for anything in my name, and you will get some sort of response,” He said, “I will do it!”
When we pray, often we close our prayers with a phrase like, “in Jesus’ name. Amen,”
But simply saying those words does not mean what we have asked for will happen.
Praying in the name of Jesus is more than just saying the right words, it is about praying according to God’s will and purpose for our lives,
its about understanding that God knows what is best for us, and trusting that if He answers Yes, wait or No, it is the right and appropriate answer.
It’s praying the “Thy will be done” of the Lord’s prayer.
“Lord, this is my heart,
this is my desire,
this is my need,
this is my circumstance,
this is my situation,
but You know what is best,
I trust you to answer my prayer in the right way, give me the grace to accept your will,
your purpose, your love,
may your will be done in my life”
That is the key to prayer - to trust that His will is perfect, to trust He will do what is right, even when the answer is No.
In prayer, we need to put aside our worldly desires and focus on God’s will and glory instead.
That is what it really means to pray in the name of Jesus.
And if the answer to your prayer is No, God will give you the grace to live with His no.
We need to trust that if God answered that prayer with a YES - the result would have been bad for us
God really does care for you.
God really loves you and sometimes, He says no because His plan is to give us something better.
When I prayed for a job in London, I thought that would be the best thing to happen.
God said No, and at the time, I did not understand why, looking back now, it makes perfect sense.
God was teaching me to be patient, to trust, to align my will with His purpose, to allow His will to be done.
As Romans 8:28 puts it – “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
We might think we know what is best for us,
God always knows what is best for us.
God knows what’s BEST for you.
We pray for comfort and ease.
We pray for the easy path, the straight path.
We don’t pray for life to become more difficult than it already is.
But the easy path usually isn’t what’s BEST for us.
LISTEN to these verses:
Romans 5:3-4 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
2 Corinthians 4:17 – “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
Hebrews 12:11 – “No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
1 Peter 1:6-7 – “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
We need to trust God, the path may not be easy but God is with us every moment of our journey.
When we pray for ourselves and for others we need to believe that God will answer that prayer in the perfect way.
What does it really mean to pray “in Jesus’ name”?
Sometimes we think we know what God’s will is about a situation or circumstance, when actually we don’t.
We might think we know God’s plan and purpose, but the way God answers our prayer reveals the truth of His will, His plan, His purpose.
When we pray, we need to trust God for the right answer - even if that answer is No.
God is omniscient, He knows more than we know, He knows what is best in every situation and every circumstance.
He has planned the best for you and for me.
The path may seem difficult, but there is a purpose, there is a plan.
When God answers prayer He never makes a mistake.
God sees what we do not see.
He knows what we do not know.
His choices are wiser than our choices.
We may not understand why God says No, but we need to accept that God knows what He’s doing.
When God says NO, we need to thank Him.
His No, proves He loves us enough to do what is best for us.
God’s will is best.
God loves us, He loves you and He loves me.
He’s our Heavenly Father.
He wants what’s best for us.
Our God is good.
Our God is faithful.
Our God always answers prayer.
For some people, communion is a place where bread is eaten and juice is swallowed but the soul never stirs.
It was never meant to be to that way.
In Matthew’s account of the Last Supper, there is an incredible truth.
Jesus is the person behind it all.
He selected the place,
designated the time,
and set the meal in order.
At the Supper, Jesus is not the served, but the servant.
It is Jesus who put on the apron of a servant and washed the disciples’ feet.
Jesus is not the one who reclines and receives, Jesus is the one who stands and gives.
He still does.
The Lord’s Supper is a gift to you.
Communion is a holy moment.
A moment to pause and reflect.
An opportunity enter His presence.
To spend time with Him at His table.
Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all...
But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants.
He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands.
When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins.
I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. (Isaiah 53:2-6, 10-12)
This prophecy was given centuries before Jesus was beaten and crucified.
In the Old Testament, people offered animals as sacrifices for their sins.
Here, the sinless servant of the Lord offers himself for our sins.
Jesus is the Lamb offered for the sins of all people (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6-14).
Believers become right with God because of the Suffering Servant—not by our own works, but by the Messiah’s great work on the cross.
Jesus suffered for our sake, He bore our sins to make us acceptable to God. “It was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.”
For some of us, grief may be part of the Lord’s perfect plan for us.
Our path may not be easy,
our path may not be without pain,
our prayers may not be answered in the way we would choose.
Thank you seems too small a response,
for His sacrifice, His mercy and His Grace.
But we can trust Him and thank Him that when we are weak He is strong.
We can thank Him that He loves us and cares for us.
We can thank God that we can be in relationship with Him.
Thank Jesus He is our Lord and Saviour.
Thank the Holy Spirit He works in us and through us.
Thank God He is our Father and our friend.