When God Says "No" to Your Prayers



"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13


What are you believing for? Have you ever been asked that question? This question is becoming popular throughout the church and taken out of a context leading to a false hope. Are you wanting financial prosperity? Believe and you will receive. Healing? Believe and receive.

These words of Jesus are much more complicated than a simple statement which makes Him out to be a genie who grants us things as we ask for them. Jesus is God and knows what we need (and sometimes what we don’t need). When we ask in Christ’s name, we are identifying with Christ and Christ’s will. 1 John 5:14 expands on this when John tells us, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”

Note the words “according to His will”. There are times when we don’t get what we want. We may ask for things God knows aren’t good for us. We may ask for things outside of His will. Sometimes, for our own good, we need to be told “no”. God often has something better in mind. There are even times God is guarding us against something that would lead us away from Him.

God sees the bigger picture, and we must remember He will always take care of us. Our life isn't about us; it is about God and His overall plan. We exist for God, not the other way around. We can rest in being children of God—He has our best interests at heart, even when we don’t fully understand. God's sovereignty is what we can always believe in, and His love is something we can always receive.


Father, sometimes my prayers are selfish. Sometimes I pray out of desperation, and the results aren’t what I want. I know You know and love me, and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Help me to always trust in You and Your sovereignty. Help me to always strive to be in Your will. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Your Turn

What does it mean to you to “believe and receive”? Memorize 1 John 5:14 this week. What does it mean to ask according to His will?

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Chelsi Woods is the coffee-loving Content Manager for Whole Magazine and a writer for the Reformed Outlook. She is a Jesus-loving, tattooed soccer mom to a beautiful, blue-eyed 12-year-old girl and “Choo-Choo” to a 9-year-old nephew and 4-year-old niece. Her hobbies include communicating in gifs, playing guitar, and bad dad jokes. Chelsi’s passionate pursuit is to teach women solid, Biblical truths focused on spiritual growth, loving God with our minds, all while glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.