Most likely you are familiar with the idea that when you pray God gives you one of three answers: Yes, Not Now or No. We love the yes answer and that’s when we are 100% certain that there is a God, that He is watching over us and that He has our best interest at heart. Of course He does. He agrees with us!
Then there is No and Not Now. Those are the answers that prove God obviously does not know what He is doing up there, doesn’t care about us, doesn’t understand the severity of our situation, isn’t listening to us or doesn’t exist. Yeah, right.
Let’s cut to the chase on this one- God is listening, He knows what’s going on, He cares. There is way too much evidence to suggest differently and the Bible speaks repeatedly of His unfailing love.
We can’t begin to understand why God says no or not now to curing an illness, allows people we love to die when they do, makes us move away when we are happy just where we are, does or doesn’t redirect our career path, keeps someone’s heart hard in unhappy relationships etc. I certainly don’t have the answer here. What I do have is a relationship with the Lord that helps me to accept I will and do have challenges and encourages me to draw closer to Him to deal with them. In fact, in my daily prayers I typically will ask that the Lord would draw me closer. That’s a prayer He seems to always say Yes to. Strengthen my faith. He says Yes. Help me trust You more. He says Yes. Lead me to your will for me. That’s a Yes.
It dawns on me that the key in our prayers is the relationship with the Lord…no matter what the circumstance. He tells us to put no other gods before Him. Maybe the gods in our life are not only material things like money and property. Maybe they are the relationships we have or our work. Maybe its our job loss or our illness. It’s tough to admit when you are embarking on something that seems awful, but Is it possibly a god in our life? Are we not relying on our relationship with Him? Are we allowing our shortcoming and misfortune to come before our love for the Lord? Before our desire to know Him better? Are we suggesting we know better than He? Maybe He isn’t kidding about putting Himself first. I appreciate this takes a deep relationship with the Lord to make sense. I know I need to delve into this further to really see if it makes any sense in my life.
I read another perspective on prayer that also made me think hard. The writer mentioned people always ask him why God doesn’t answer their prayers. He gave several responses. One had to do with timing. The writer made mention of the fact that people may not be praying at the right time or in the right place. At first I thought, what? Then I read over his explanation and I kind of got it.
In The Lord’s prayer, Jesus’ way of how to pray, we say: “Give us this day our daily bread”. Jesus focused on THIS day. Not tomorrow and not yesterday. Prayer is a day by day thing. We don’t pray today to cover us for the rest of the week, or at least that wasn’t the divine plan.
Jesus says in, Matthew 6:34 NIV, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” We need to pray each and every day for each and every day. As you read this today can you said God answered your today prayers? Did you pray for your daily bread today or did you pray about tomorrow and beyond.
I kind of like this concept. We’ve all heard the saying, I’m taking it day by day. I think there’s more to that than I’ve given credit. What are my prayers today? Were today’s prayers answered? Did God take care of me? Did I get my daily bread? God may have said No or Not Now… today. Will He say the same thing tomorrow? I guess the point is I’ll have to focus on that when tomorrow gets here. As for me, today, I got my daily bread- even among the other Yeses, Nos and Not Yets.