God expects His people to trust that He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Therefore, one is to “ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:6).

Notwithstanding that God can do everything He is asked to do, and more besides, beyond the furthest extent of man’s imagination even, the fact remains that He sometimes declines to fulfill the requests He receives.

Paul wrote, “Lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:7-10).

The Lord understands a man’s needs better than the man does. In like manner, a child may ask for cookies and Kool-Aid for dinner, fully trusting that his mother is able to make that happen; however, the mother, understanding the child’s nutritional needs better than the child does, will not accede to the request.

For this reason, the disciple is to pray, “Your will be done” (Luke 11:2). One must present his requests to the Almighty in full confidence of His ability to deliver, yet in deference to His supreme judgment.

Even Jesus prayed, “O My Father, if it is possible, let his cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Luke 6:39), and again, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Luke 26:42).

God does answer prayer, but sometimes the answer is “No”.

By - Bryan Matthew Dockens

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