There’s a song called “Even If”, by the group MERCY ME, that captures a truth about how God answers prayer sometimes yes and sometimes no.
“I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone”
It has to do with trust. Do I trust that the Lord has “my best” in mind. Do I believe that God loves me if he doesn’t answer a particular prayer or if he doesn’t answer it now or in the way I envisioned?
Bob Mumford, a Pentecostal Minister from the old days, tells a humorous story of praying for what he wanted and what God actually gave him:
“Lord, I need a new car. I need a brand new Cadillac that would fit the lofty stature that you want me to have as your son, not that peace of junk I’ve been driving …. later when an even crummier car arrived, he sensed the Holy Spirit had interrupted his earlier prayer saying “Lord, Bob’s a proud man and he needs a real clunker of a car to help him with humility”.
God answers our prayers with what we need, not what we want.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the story of the fiery furnace, trusted that God knew what they needed when threatened by the king….
“Now the king said if you do not worship me, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace; and who is the god that will deliver you out of my hands?" They answered the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up."(Dan. 3:15-18)
Wow, these holy men had confidence in God’s goodness and power.They put their money where their mouths were. If God saved them from the fire … great. If he decided that it was better that he didn’t…… also great.
When we come to God with our requests, we need to leave the “when and how” of the answer to God, trusting that his answer will always be the best for us. Whether we get the Cadillac, the broken down Chevy, or go barefoot, all will be well with our soul.
P.S. Google the song “Even If” by the group Mercy Me.