God always answers prayer. Sometimes the answer is …
1) Direct. We pray for something and we see the answer directly.
Other times the answer is…
2) Denied. God as it were says, “No” when it is not in His will for us to have what we asked (1 John 5:14-15). Here’s where his sovereignty comes into play. If we are asking for something not in God’s will for us to have, then we can actually thank God he denied our request, because it means he must have something better. Keep in mind God may also say “No” to our request if we have the wrong motives (James 4:3-4) or if there is unconfessed sin in our life (Psalm 66:18).
Sometimes the answer is…
3) Different. God does “more than we can ask or imagine” (Eph.3:20).
Sometimes the answer is
4) Delayed. God does it in his time, not our time. This was like the case of Zechariah and Elizabeth (Luke 1:5-25). For many years they prayed to have a son. And the answer to their prayer was delayed until the perfect timing. He finally gave them a son who was named John the Baptist, who went on to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. Why did God delay the answer to their prayers? So that he would be glorified when the answer came. They basically had to wait until it was humanly impossible to have a child, so that when it did happen, God would get all the glory.
When you pray, the answer to your prayer might be denied. It might be delayed. It might be different. Or, it might be answered directly. Whatever your circumstances are right now, I believe these words will encourage you:
Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Don’t grow weary of doing good. Prayer is doing good. We so easily can stop praying when our prayers seem unanswered. But Scripture tells us, “Don’t become weary” in doing good—in praying—for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.