Four Ways God Answers Persistent Prayer


God may not always answer the way you like, but there is no such thing as unanswered prayer.

"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers." (Ephesians 6:18, NLT)

There is no such thing as unanswered prayer. God may not always answer the way you like, but he always answers prayer in one of four ways:

When your request is not right, God says, “No.”

God is not going to give you something that's harmful for you. He only gives you his best! He sometimes says “no” because your request does not match his best for you.

When you’re not right, God says, “Grow.”

Maybe God wants to give you something -- maybe even a blessing so big you can’t imagine it -- but you’re not ready for the responsibility. It could even cause stress in your life if he gave it to you now. Don’t stop praying! Keep reading God’s Word and making Christ your first pursuit.

When the timing's not right, God says, “Slow.”

Habakkuk 2:3 says, "The time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" (TLB) It's coming, but it's not here yet. God wants to take it slow, until you're ready to handle it. Growth often needs to be paced. And it always takes time.

When your request and the timing and your character are all lined up, God says, “Go.”

Ephesians 6:18 says, "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers" (NLT). You don’t pray persistently because you’re trying to convince God. You pray persistently so that you’re ready when God says, “Go.”

Always believe that God is going to answer your prayer. It might not always be the answer you want or expect, but it will always be for your good and for God’s glory.

Talk It Over

When you’ve been waiting a long time for God to answer a prayer, how do you stay encouraged?

Do you trust God’s timing? Why or why not?

If you’re waiting on God to say “go,” what can you do to grow in spiritual maturity while you wait?

Premium Resource: Experience God's Power Through Prayer Guided Experience Book

Premium Resource: Living in the Goodness of God Guided Experience Book

This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

God Is Ready To Take It to The Mat
Pastor Rick Warren
Turn Your Beliefs into Behavior
Pastor Rick Warren
God Created the Church to Be a Family
Pastor Rick Warren
In Your Struggle, God’s Love and Mercy Continue
Pastor Rick Warren
When You're Down, the Bible Lifts You Up
Pastor Rick Warren
Follow Us

Want to access more exclusive iDisciple content?

Upgrade to a Giving Membership today!

Already a member? Login to iDisciple