A young Amy Carmichael, who grew up to be a missionary in India, learned about prayer from her parents. She learned that Heavenly Father heard her prayers. She learned He could do anything. And she believed. That night, at bedtime, she went to her knees and asked Heavenly Father to turn her eyes blue. She went to bed with the excitement and faith only a child can muster. In the morning, she ran to the mirror gleeful to look at her brand new, blue eyes. Her heart broke when her own brown eyes were staring back at her.
Does that mean that her prayer was not answered? Did Heavenly Father break His word? She certainly had the faith that was required. Amy learned something. She learned that “No” is an answer too.
When we pray for something, we need to do it in faith. But, we also need to do it in submission, trusting that our Heavenly Father knows best for us.
I remember a time, shortly after my conversion, there was something I prayed for desperately. I couldn’t imagine how I would survive Heavenly Father saying “No” to this prayer. I would weep during the prayer. Each time, though, Heavenly Father said, “There are things you don’t know. Trust me. I have something so much better for you.”
Now, I can look back and see His wisdom. At the time, it felt like I was being asked to endure too much. I recently found out just how much my God had protected me. He knew things about the situation I didn’t. I have more gratitude for that “No” than I do for almost every “Yes” I have ever received.
So, if you’ve been pouring out your heart in prayer and feel ignored, this is the time to wait and trust. We often don’t have the whole picture. I promise you, that He hears you. And sometimes, a no is a much better answer than you’d think.