Just the other day, my wife and I were watching a rerun of a show called "Touched by an Angel."
In this particular episode, a town was praying for rain in the middle of a severe drought, and it wasn’t raining. In the end, things worked out for their benefit and God’s glory.
Like in this illustration and in our own lives, sometimes God answers prayers with an emphatic "no." The truth is that God does answer prayers either with a "yes" or a "no," but he always has his reasons behind each answer.
Why would God answer with "no" to our prayers?
As a loving heavenly Father, he knows some things are not for our good but would instead bring us harm, as spoken to us in Matthew 7:9-11, where it says, "Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him."
Maybe some times he has some lesson to teach us. In the episode of "Touched by an Angel," the end results were that the community started working together – enemies became friends, new other friendships were formed and people who hadn’t prayed much began to pray.
So, the next time you don’t hear a clear answer from your prayers, consider the possibility that God’s answer may be "no" and then wait patiently for what good he is trying to work out in your life.