DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: For years I’ve begged and begged God to do something for me, but he never has. Maybe he’s just tired of having me pester him. Should I just quit trying or what? — Y.L.
DEAR Y.L.: Sometimes God calls us to continue praying for something almost indefinitely, and we need to be sensitive to that calling. From time to time, for example, I get letters from wives or husbands who have prayed for their spouses for many years and eventually have seen them come to Christ.
But sometimes God answers our prayer with a definite no, and when that’s the case we shouldn’t keep begging him or demanding he give us a yes. Remember: God loves us and knows far better than we do what’s best for us.
I can recall times in my own life when God said no to something I prayed for, and to be honest, I sometimes found this hard to accept. Later, though, I realized God’s way was far better than mine, and I was thankful he had said no.
How can you know if God has said no to your prayer? Begin by asking yourself why you’ve prayed this prayer. Are you honestly seeking God’s will in this situation, or are you only concerned about yourself and what will please you?
God hasn’t promised to answer every prayer we make. He has promised only to answer those that are in line with his will. The Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
Prayer is one of our greatest privileges when we know Christ. Have you confessed your sins and given your life to him? Put Christ first in your life and then pray that his will may be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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