When The Answer Is, “No”

Hello beloved readers!  I’m so happy and be grateful to God finally I have much time to write a post again. This time I will talk about (once again) waiting for God’s answer of our prayer. I deliberately chose this topic because honestly, I and my husband are continuing to pray earnestly and are waiting for God’s answer. We have been praying more than a year for our second child and we are keep praying until now.

It must be admitted that waiting for God’s answer often become a big problem and give a serious impact for us as believers. I have a friend who changed drastically to be very hateful to God. He felt God didn’t love him and never cared about all prayers he had sincerely offered. He prayed faithfully that we wanted to get married with his spouse. While he prays continuously, he made his wedding preparation. However, unfortunately, suddenly, something tragic happened. His future wife had a very bad accident, suffered severe injuries, and sadly, finally died. Since then, he really hated God.

Another story, there was a faithful mother who had been praying for 28 years for her son who became a drug addict and was in and out of jail. The days and years dragged on without any good changed in her son’s life. But one day, 28 years after his mother first prayed for her something happened incredibly! Terry Williams, her son finally repented, accepted Jesus as his savior, and changed his life drastically. God finally answered His mother prayer.

My beloved friends, based on philosophical truth, God always hear and answers our prayers and there are three forms of God’s answers; “Yes”, “No”, and “wait” But empirically, not all of our requests that conveyed through prayer will be granted by God. The question is why does God answer some of our prayers and doesn’t grant our other prayers? Well, once again, based on my own experience in praying, there are two reasons. Let’s take a look together.

Internal reason

Internal reason are reasons that come from the inside of ourselves. In the other words, there’s something inside us that makes God not willing to answer of fulfill our prayers. There’s something wrong in use and our prayers. Let’s take a look to James 4:2-3

You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

From the verses above, we know that there are two causes so we don’t get anything. First, we aren’t asking God (Praying), and the second is there is wrong motive behind our prayer. I will not discuss the first cause because I strongly believe every believer will always pray. I will focus on the second cause. It must be admitted that as Christian sometimes there are wrong things behind our prayer. I noted some of mistakes we often made in our prayers and this is what blocks the answer of our prayers. Let’s see together.

The Nature of prayer

When we pray ask something to God, have we thought about the basic of our request? Are our requests based on needs or wants? I give example of prayer based on need. In Our Father’s prayer, we say, “Give us our daily bread” This an example of need. There’s no one in this world doesn’t need bread. But if we pray, “Dear God, I want to have one more house with a bigger swimming pool” This not needs but wants! In fact, there’s a very essential difference between what we need and what we want. What we need must be what we want, but what we want is not necessarily we need. Needs are urgent, whereas wants is not. My dear friends, this is what makes God doesn’t want to answer our prayer and without us knowing, often the prayer we pray is dominated by wants rather than needs. God promises that He will answer our prayers, but the problem is whether what we ask for is our need or is it just a want? If our prayers haven’t been answered for a long time, let’s re-examine the nature of our prayer.

The prayer addresses/motivation

When we pray Our Father, we always said, “Our Father in Heaven” This means our prayer addressed to “Father in Heaven” And that is the right address. But wait! The problem isn’t what we say but what is your motivation when we pray. I give a small illustration. There’s a grandmother who getting senile and deaf. She promises to buy her grandson a bicycle. After a long wait, the grandson finally prayed (with a loud voice), “Father in heaven bless my food, and also please remind my grandmother of her promise to give me a bicycle” His mother when heard her son’s prayer then said, “Son, why you pray so loud? God is not deaf” then her son said, “Yes, mom. God is not deaf but grandma is deaf and senile” This illustration shows that sometimes the target or address our prayer isn’t to the Father in Heaven but to others. This illustration shows that sometimes the purpose of our prayer isn’t to the Father in heaven but to others. Sometimes our mouths say, “Father in Heaven…” but actually motivation of our heart is to insinuate, rebuke others or announce something.

My dear friends, the right prayer is a prayer submitted to the right address. Addressed to Father in Heaven from the deepest of our heart without wrong motivation. So, don’t be surprised if God doesn’t answer our prayer.  Have we address our prayer to the right address? Have we prayed with the right motivation?

The prayer times

Another reason why God doesn’t answer our prayer is about time. Time that I mean isn’t time like morning or evening but we pray for things at the wrong time or not at right time to pray for. Okay let me give an illustration like this; A ten years old beautiful girl prayed that God would give her a handsome boyfriend. Well, this’s a wrong prayer because it’s not the right time for a ten-year-old little girl thinking about dating. In this case doesn’t mean God isn’t able to give the little girl a boyfriend but God doesn’t want to give because the time isn’t right.

Another reason that is still related with time is, we often want God answer our prayer quickly. We forget that God has His own agenda and time. God’s time isn’t our time. In Isaiah 55:8 clearly God declares, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”

My beloved friends, if until know God doesn’t answer our prayers, let’s correct our prayers. Is there something wrong in our prayer? Is what we ask for through prayer already at the right time? Or we expect God answer our prayer as soon as possible?

Readers, the nature of prayer, the prayer addresses, and the prayer times are internal reasons why God doesn’t or hasn’t answered our prayers. Beside the internal reasons, there’s external reason that causes our prayer aren’t answered. This external reason comes from God Himself. What does it mean? It means God has His own reason to not answer our prayers. Let’s see together.

Faith test.

sometimes God is testing the strength of our faith, perseverance, and our sincerity to ask something to Him. Let’s take a look to the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. A Canaanite woman came to Jesus and begging Jesus to heal her possessed daughter (Verse 22) What was Jesus’ reaction at the time? Jesus didn’t answer a word and His disciples urged Jesus to send the woman away. At that time, didn’t mean Jesus didn’t want to help the woman but he was testing her faith and sincerity. Even when Jesus said, “I was sent only to the lose sheep of Israel(Verse 24) and said that “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs” (verse 26) this woman did not take offense and leave but she justified Jesus’ words by saying, “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Finally, because of her sincerity, faith, and perseverance, Jesus helped the woman and said, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Verse 28)

My dear friends, sometimes this kind of experience is what we experience in our prayers. We may have prayed and God just kept quiet. It seems that He doesn’t care about our prayers at all, but actually He is giving us a test of faith, perseverance and sincerity. God wants to see are we still ask to Him with full of faith, sincerity, and without despair even though it seems God doesn’t hear our prayers.

Train our maturity

Another reason that God doesn’t answer our prayers or He answer our prayer but need a very long period is because He wants to treat us as grown up in faith. God wants to train our faith to be more mature. Furthermore, by not answering our prayers, we learn that in prayer isn’t not our will that happen but God’s will that happen. God will be done, not our will be done. Isn’t God who must follow us but we must follow Him.

My dear beloved readers, I will close this post by inviting all of us to once again reflect our life prayer. Let’s see if there is something wrong in the prayer we pray. Whether there are certain things in our prayers that become an obstacle so God will not answer our prayer. Also, let’s bear in our heart and mind that God has his own reason why he doesn’t answer our prayer. When the answer is, “No” Please don’t be disappointed and discouraged, don’t think that God doesn’t love and care to us, don’t hate and leave Him. When God doesn’t answer our prayer, I encourage all of us to remember that God has a plan to give more beautiful than we ask and He will give according to His will and plan as He said,

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Amen!


Karina Lam – Living by faith

Image source: ibelieve.com

80 thoughts on “When The Answer Is, “No”

  1. Beautifully written, my friend. Your stories really address our issues of believing prayer and God’s time table and purposes for us. I so appreciate your capacity for loving our Lord and communicating His heart to others.

  2. Outcomes of either happiness or sadness– like free will– are not necessarily part of God’s intervention. I’m sure many of us have wondered why such terrible things, despite our faith, have occurred in our lives. Through prayer we can at least regain the hope that time will eventually heal our emotional wounds. Been there… done that. Peace.

  3. Dear Karina, May I share this with some friends of mine or even as a blog guest post? I can think of so many that this will minister to. Barbara Wilhelm

    Love, Barbara “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” Psalm 63:3


    • Dear sister in Christ, Barbara.
      Thank you very much for reading my post. Yes definitely can share to everyone you want. Hope and pray that could be a blessing to others. I really appreciate your kindness, sister. God Bless.

  4. Thank you Karina. This an excellent post. I believe the Lord will answer the prayers of you and your husband appropriately and in His timing. Continue to be faithful. Be blessed.

    • Hello,RJ
      Thank you very much, brother. Yes we keep praying not matter what God’s answer later. Thank you very much for you lovely response 🙂 God Bless.

  5. A profound post, Karina. As it happens, the women’s Bible study in which I take part has been studying the Lord’s Prayer. The phrase “thy will be done” takes us into the deep waters of faith. It is always God’s will that must be our guidepost. We may not always understand God’s reasons. But we trust that He motivated by love and justice w/ our good in mind. ❤

    • Dear sister, Anna
      Thank you very much for your wonderful response to my post. Yes it’s so true God’s will is our guidance. Thank you very much and Happy Mother’s day to you too. God Bless.

  6. This post reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11. The Lord has plans for each of us; plans that are never to our detriment but always for the best. Indeed, we just have to trust Him and His ways. Thanks for sharing God’s message to all. God bless!

  7. Very informative and enlightening post on the subject of prayer and God’s answer. God loves us and everything will always work out for our own good even when God’s answer is no. Blessings

  8. I think often of Jesus’s own prayer that his cup would pass from him, and his loving Father told him no. God’s “No’s” are no more a rejection of us than they were a rejection of Jesus. So easy to say, so hard to believe. Thanks for this mediation.

    • Dear, Mr. Eric.
      You are welcome. Thank you very much for visiting and following my blog. Also thank you for your great comment on my post. I really appreciate it. Thank you and God Bless.

  9. Pingback: When The Answer Is, “No” – NarrowPathMinistries

    • Oww, so sweet, sister Anna. Thank you very much for thinking of me. Thank you to God we all are well here. I hope and pray same to you too. Have a blessed new weak, sister.

  10. Karina, Thank you for this beautiful post. It demonstrates your trust in the Lord – that He is good and that He has His perfect plan for you that includes every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies. I’m reminded of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1 and Isaiah 40:31 (waiting on the Lord). Hannah had no children but cried out to the Lord for a son. She promised that when he was weaned, she would give him back to the Lord. Eli heard her prayer, thought she was drunk but later came to the realization that she wasn’t and that the Lord had a special plan for her. He told her that she would have a son. She did in a year; she weaned him, and she brought him back to Eli to serve the Lord. The Lord then blessed her with more children. Isaiah 40:31 is my life verse: “Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up on wings as eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Karina, may the Lord give you a child who will serve Him in His perfect timing. Karen

    • Dear, sister Karen.
      You are welcome, sist. I thank you you have spent your time to visit and reading post. Also thank you very much for the wonderful explanation based on Isaiah 40:31. And finally Thank you for your prayer. Amen. God Bless.

  11. Hi Karina. I really enjoyed your guest blogger Sella Irene’s post, but didn’t see any place to leave a comment. And, of course, I’m looking forward to your next post, as well! Blessings.

  12. I am so thankful we have an all-wise God we can trust, even when he chooses not to answer our prayers as we’d like. I take comfort in the knowledge that as my specified request goes unanswered, other prayers ARE being answered. Your last reason is one of them: maturity. There is much blessing in that character trait alone. God bless YOU and your husband, Karina, as you wait for your second child. May his/her arrival happen SOON (Psalm 113:9)!

    • dear sister in Christ, Nancy..
      Thank you so much for visiting and reading my post, sister. I really appreciate it. I also thank you for your great comment. We keep prayer for our second child and we surrender all to God. We strongly believe God will give us the best for us.Amen. God Bless.

  13. Hello Karina, I love this post you wrote. It is such a comfort to know we can trust God, and know that he listens to our prayers. May you feel God’s blessings surround you. God Bless.

  14. Pingback: Prayer / Worship ~ Links | Paper Gifts for Estefany

  15. Pingback: When The Answer Is, “No” – Emeka Ofili

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