God always answers prayer. Because God is sovereign and a God who loves us sometimes God must answer our prayers with a “no”. The second way God answers prayer is by telling us, “wait”.
When our requests are wrong God says “No.”
When the timing is wrong God says, “Wait.”
In such prayers, it’s not that the request is wrong, it’s that the timing is off. For instance, when a twelve-year-old child asks, “Dad, can you help me to get a car?” It’s not that the request is wrong for all time. It’s just that the timing is wrong. If the child were to ask the same question in four years, the answer would definitely be quite different. We would sit down together and make a plan for how to get the sixteen-year-old their own car. As a matter of fact, I would be just as interested in making such an arrangement as I would be tired of sharing my car!
God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Undergirding our understanding of prayer is two realities:
- God is sovereign. God is God and we are not.
- God is good. Because God is a good God, we can be certain that God wants what is best for us, and that God knows better than we do what is best for us.
God always answers our prayers. You can be absolutely sure of that.
- When the request is wrong, God says “No.”
- When the timing is wrong, God says, “Wait.”
We may not like these answers but it still doesn’t change the fact these are legitimate and good answers. And that God says “no” and “wait” because he loves us and wants what is best for us.
So when you hear a “wait” from God, be patient and thank him for being a good and sovereign God.