Over the past few months we have been praying that the COVID numbers would decrease, and we are thankful that the numbers of June are not those of today. Overall, numbers have decreased dramatically, and the conditions have improved so much! We praise the Lord for that.
But as we pray that the Lord will completely take every case away, we don’t see the Lord saying “yes” to this request.
So, what do we do with that? What do we do when God says, “no?” Or, what do we do when He says, “wait?” You probably have asked that yourself. Perhaps not about COVID in our community, but definitely something else that is pressing on your heart – a strained relationship, an overwhelming burden or other difficult life circumstance.
You find yourself praying, “Lord, I’m praying. Lord I’m faithful in watching, and steadfast in faith. But you keep saying ‘no.’” As believers, what do we do with this situation?
We could go to several illustrations in the Bible to help us with this, but the most powerful is in the life of Jesus. Jesus was ready to go to the cross in His Spirit. The Bible prophesies that “He set His face like a flint” (Isaiah 50:7). He had “rock hard” determination to do the will of His Father.
But the night before our Savior was to take the poison of wrath for our release, He asked, with trembling lip and broken heart, “If possible, please let this cup pass (Matthew 26:39.” He asked the Father if there were any way for our reconciliation that did not include His alienation. What a heart-breaking scene this is! But the Father said “no” to His only begotten Son. He said “no” to Him that He may say “yes” to us.
We look at this scene humbly. We learn to follow our Lord’s footsteps and trust the Father even when we don’t understand His “no” or His “wait.” Consider three things to continue to do:
- Continue Praying
We are not told to stop praying. “Keep on asking, and you will receive, keep on knocking and the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7).” So, we should not be week in faith. As long as the Lord continues to call us to pray we continue to pray.
- Remain faithful.
We cannot give up the responsibilities that God calls us to because the conditions surrounding the prayer have not changed. Jesus asked, and God said no, so He continued to the calling that He know was His. We cannot use a “no” as an excuse to disobey.
- Thank God for saying “no.”
There is great faith here, but the child that knows their Father best knows that His love is extended even in His “no.” We trust Him still even when we don’t see the way or the reason for the problem. In fact, in bold faith, we even thank Him for saying “no.” We keep praying; we keep obeying; and we thank Him for seeing further, knowing better and loving greater than we could ever know.
So, that is the answer to our question. When the Father says “no,” we say “thank you.” And we continue to pray.
Keep faithful in prayer my brothers and sisters!