Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
– Mark 11:24
I'm always amused when Bible teachers try to make excuses for God. As if He needs excuses.
Case in point: the above verse from the Gospel of Mark very clearly says that whatever you ask for when you pray, believe that you receive it… and you will have it.
There doesn't seem to be any “wiggle room” in that promise, does there?
Either the Bible says what it means, and means what it says, or not. There are plenty of other straightforward promises of answered prayer, too, just like this one, in the Scripture.
So how do we explain it when we ask for something in prayer, and do not receive it? Especially if we feel that we really believed for the answer?
While it's not always possible to know why this happens, it is possible to know this: the shortcoming is not on God's part.
He does not lie about His promises.
It's also possible to know that it is His will that we be healed, saved, and delivered. We know because He tells us so in His word.
When we are disappointed in the results of our prayer, it is important to remember that we don't know all the truth.
Now let me be clear: I never condone the position of saying that it's the fault of the sick person, or the lack of their faith, or some sort of judgment from God that resulted in the sickness. I don't believe any of that garbage for a minute.
I also want to be clear that I do not believe God makes us sick, or causes us to suffer, so that we can learn some sort of lesson, or so that we can “build character”.
I do know that God's delays do not equal God's denials.
I know that He who has promised is faithful.
I know in Whom I have believed, and I know that He is able.
You know these things too: and they are enough.
If you are ever discouraged because you feel that God has not heard your prayer, know that you are not alone. King David often felt the same way, and he shared those feelings in the Psalms that we have as part of our Bible today. King David also came to the conclusion that God is faithful, and in the end we will understand the perfectness of how God does answer our prayers.
The foundation upon which we build our faith is this: God is good, all the time.
Declare that truth in your life, and be looking for the manifestation of His goodness.