2 Samuel 23:20b-39, 8:15-18, 7:1-29; I Chronicles 11:22-47, 18:14-17, 17:1-27
Like many of us I think, the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was to reach for my phone. I did a quick scroll through FB, checked the weather, and opened my email. I was pleasantly surprised to see a notice that a blogger I follow, posted something today. She has not done that for a while, so I took time to read what she wrote. It’s a thoughtful, honest look at prayer, especially those prayers that are answered with a “No.” If you get a chance, check it out at karinasussanto.wordpress.com. It’s entitled, “When The Answer Is “No.”
Anyway, I was already thinking about prayer when I read today’s Scripture and was once again challenged by David’s. The king wanted to build a home for the Ark of God. David wanted to give God a dwelling place He deserved. But when God clearly said, “No,” David prayed, “Ok. Thank you for blessing me in other ways.”
We Christians pray. God wants us to bring our requests to Him. Our prayers are a sweet perfume to Him. However, prayer is not something we do to get what we want. Prayer is something we do to get what God wants for us.
As a parent, did you always give your children everything they asked for? If you say you did, shame on you! Sometimes a parent just knows giving in to every whim is not what’s best for a child. Like a four year old wanting a 22 shotgun. A parent probably knows that isn’t the best gift for the child. A child who loves alligators, and wants a pet alligator, should probably hear Mommy and Daddy say, “No.” Even if a tantrum follows.
It’s hard to accept when we lay out our requests and hear God say, “No.” I can’t think David liked hearing that he would not build that temple. It had been his heart’s desire. But David thanked God anyway.
And so should we. God really does know what’s best. And He really wants to give us His best. We just need to trust Him, and praise Him when He blesses us in other ways.
And He always blesses us in other ways.
I am reminded that God doesn’t deny our requests because He doesn’t want us to be happy. If He denies our requests, it’s because He has something better in mind for us, something more wonderful than we can know at the time. We can thank Him for the “No” because we can trust Him.
So pray. Ask God for you heart’s desire. He might give it to you, or He might say, “No. But know this: His answer will always be worthy of your praise.