We know two things about prayer: (1) We pray, not that our will be done in heaven, but that God’s will be done on earth; and (2) We are to “[...delight ourselves] also in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. To reconcile these two truths is to realize that “delighting myself in the Lord” is to submit to Him and love Him to such an extent that the desire of my heart will be that God’s will be done in the matter about which I am praying. We usually pray for a specific outcome (healing, safety, provision, restoration of relationship), not necessarily knowing what God’s will for us will be in that matter. But God will answer the specific petition of our prayer in one of three ways: yes, no, or wait.
How we respond to the answer God gives to our prayer speaks volumes about the kind of faith we have in Him. Many of us could imagine praying for healing from a life threatening disease, receiving the healing (a “yes” answer), and then getting down on our knees and thanking the Lord for that “yes” answer. Would we do the same if the answer was “wait”? Would we give thanks to the Lord and worship Him if the answer was no? We would praise and worship Him for any of these three answers only if we accept Jesus Christ not only as our Savior, but also as our Lord.
The gold standard for bowing before the sovereignty of God and giving Him the glory due His name is Job. I’m sure that in Job’s daily prayers he was on his knees constantly for his children. But a day came when the Lord gave Job a big fat no, and took the lives of all his kids. Job’s response to that answer is found in Job 1:21-22: “And he said: Naked I came from my mother’s womb,and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job understood the sovereignty of God in His life. He was so “delighted” in the Lord that he could only conclude that the Lord taking back Job’s children was the best outcome for God’s glory and his (Job’s) good. He worshipped God as Lord.
Too many people in our world are seeking a miracle from God, but they are not seeking Him. The faith to pray for help or healing does not of itself take you all the way to the place of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. Any of us can experience a miracle in our life without ever possessing the faith to bow before Jesus Christ as Lord. If you believe that Jesus Christ can deliver you from a trial, are you willing to make Him the Lord of your life as well as your Savior? Jesus Christ will truly be the Lord of your life when you can get down on your knees and give Him thanks, regardless of whether the answer He gives to your prayer is yes, no or wait. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15.