[CF Devotionals] 2005-10-08 - Answered Prayer: He Says No

How God Answers Prayer - Part 2

Previously, in this series, we learned that one way that God answers prayer is:

  1. Literally and Immediately.

Today we will learn that another way that God answers our prayers is:

  1. He refuses to honor the petition. He says no.

    According to 2 Corinthians 12:7-12 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the "super-apostles," even though I am nothing. 12 The things that mark an apostle "signs, wonders and miracles" were done among you with great perseverance.

    The Apostle Paul requests God three times to remove the thorn in the flesh given to him. Instead of taking it away, God said "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

    In other words, when Paul was weak, God was glorified. It showed him and others that God is the source of Paul's strength. Therefore Paul boasts in his weaknesses that he is unable to do anything apart from God. He takes joy in the fact that he has weaknesses, because God is Savior and Lord. It humbles him and helps him to keep from boasting in his own strength. Instead he boasts of God's strength.

    According to Matthew 26:38-40 Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter.

    Jesus asked God to let the cup of his death for the sacrifice of sin pass from him, to make another way for sinners to be saved. God did not answer Jesus' request, and therefore, after dealing with the agony in his own flesh, He recognized and glorified God - and he went to the cross. For joy was set before him, in that God was the provider and Lord, and in spite of the pain it may cause him, He would take joy in it.

    So we find that God refuses to honor the petition. He says no.

Series to be continued.

God Bless You, My Friends!

[email Rob] rob@cfdevotionals.org