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Why God Said NO To Your Fervent Prayer

When I was little, my grandma taught me that if I prayed and asked God for something good, He would answer my prayer.

I held on fast to verses in the New Testament like Mark 11:24, John 14:14 and Matthew 21:22, where Jesus is quoted confirming it:

If I asked and believed, then I’d receive whatever I wanted. YAY!

I was filled with great hope and I started making prayer (and learning about The One I was praying to) a part of my daily life.

I prayed, and prayed, and prayed… and I fasted and prayed some more!

And many times I felt like there was no one on the other side.

And later in life, I stopped isolating verses of scripture and making an absolute doctrine out of them.

I realized that prayers don’t really go unanswered, and that God wasn’t deaf to my cries, supplications, and tears.

Sometimes no matter how much we plead, and long, and beg, and for reasons we do not understand, the answer is simply NO.

Righteous Desires

It’s hard to understand why the answer to your prayer is no, especially when you are praying for something that is good:

Someone’s healing or survival

Getting married or saving a marriage

Freedom from addictive patterns

Opening a womb or keeping a baby

A much needed job, project, or promotion

Why do these remain unfulfilled?

On top of my already desperate cries, I felt empty, disappointed, and confused!

Didn’t God know this was important for me – for my family?

God does know what I’ve been through and how much I need this!

I mean, God “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” so this should be easy for Him!

I’ve wondered: “So many are miraculously healed and completely freed of their circumstances…

Why not me?

Does God not care about me?

Did God abandon, desert, and forsake me?

Am I not good enough?”

But it’s NOT about me. The truth is that God does not always rescue us from the hardships we face.

Bible Stories

There are so many stories in the Bible in which earnest prayers were met with a resounding NO:

God said NO to David’s request for his child to survive, and the child only lived seven days. (2 Samuel 12:1-23)

God said NO to Elijah when he prayed that he might die, and God preserved his life for a purpose. (1 Kings 19:1-4)

God said NO to His Son, Jesus Christ, even though “being in agony he prayed more earnestly,” and the Atonement and Crucifixion went on as foretold. (Luke 22:41-47)

Jesus said NO to Paul with regard to “the thorn in his flesh,” and though we don’t know what it was specifically, we know it was not removed as requested. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

Jesus said NO to the Greek woman, and tested her before performing the miracle. (Mark 7:24-30)

And God Said NO Poem

One day, I found this poem by Claudia Minden Weisz, which was published on the April 1999 edition of the Jewish Magazine, and I was moved to tears:

I asked God to take away my pride,
And God said “NO”
He said it was not for him to take away
But for me to give up.

I asked God to make my disabled child whole,
And God said “NO”
He said her spirit is whole
Her body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience,
And God said “NO”
He said that patience is a byproduct of tribulation,
It isn’t granted, it is earned.

I asked God to give me happiness,
And God said “NO”
He said He gives blessings,
Happiness is up to me.

I asked God to spare me pain,
And God said “NO”
He said, “Suffering draws you apart
from worldly cares and
brings you closer to me.”

I asked God to make my spirit grow
And God said “No”
He said I must grow on my own,
But he will prune me to make me fruitful.

I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me,
And God said, “Ah, finally you have the idea.”

God is in control

The And God Said NO poem gives me perspective every time I read it. It helps me remember I’m not the one in control and why that’s a good thing.

When my whole life plan changed and I felt like I had no choice but to move to the U.S., I saw the pride that was there for me to give up.

When I was in a coma for 8 days after a car crash, I understood that my spirit is whole and my body temporary.

All the struggles I’ve had as a single mom and mom entrepreneur have taught me that patience is earned.

All my heartache has helped me understand that my happiness is up to me and I love myself and my own company.

My pain and injuries after Elydia’s birth reminded me what truly matters and drew me even closer to God.

Plans and projects falling through when it doesn’t even make sense are allowing me to grow on my own, even as I feel growing pains.

I’ve definitely seen how God’s NO has led me to understand that I really love others as I love myself.

Let’s discuss…

Why does God say NO?

I don’t exactly know why God says NO. I mean, we both know I’m not God. God will say “yes,” “not yet,” and sometimes, “no.”

Many people would be quick to believe that if your prayers aren’t answered in the way you would like, that it’s either punishment or disapproval.

To that, I repeat what it says in John 9:3: 

“Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” 

Being a mom, I can relate to the concept of a Heavenly Father because I say NO to my kids when I feel it’s in their best interest, even when I know they will, inevitably, throw a tantrum or even hold a grudge.

I want to share my perspective because I believe these reasons could give you peace and understanding, as they have me.

God said NO to protect me from harm I can’t foresee.

When God is trying to protect you, it may feel that He is deaf to your cries because He won’t grant the wish you long for, or because you’re dealing with really heavy emotions.

I have seen that with the way things turned out in my marriage. My initial bitterness turned into gratitude when I found out everything that was secretly going on and how my daughters were at risk.

It’s impossible to understand this when you’re in the thick of it, so it’s normal to feel anxiety and fear.

Reminding ourselves that there’s more than meets the eye and that we will “soon” understand can provide ease and peace during those trying times.

God said NO because there was something greater in store for me.

Hearing that “there’s a purpose,” or that “it’s probably for the best” while you’re in the middle of the struggle may feel like a hard slap on the face.

However, I am a firm believer that rejection is redirection.

God’s NO to my request is a YES to his purposes, and yet, knowing that doesn’t make the pain go away.

I like the way C.S. Lewis put it:

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

I am guilty of spending way too much time holding on to something or someone that wasn’t meant for me.

Accepting God’s will and letting go of earthly desires isn’t an easy thing to do.

And when I say earthly desires, I don’t mean car, house, furniture, clothing, and money in the bank.

All of those righteous desires of us: the ring, the marriage, and the baby in the carriage?

The way we want to see them manifested is as temporary as our pain. God has promised us that our joy is eternal.

Remember the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22?

I’m not crying – you’re crying.

Okay, I am crying.

It hurts!

I’ve been practicing gratitude for what I do have and those I do have, and in doing that a bit better I’ve found the culprit of my unhappiness and disappointment:


I’ve come to call this “the vineyard laborers’ syndrome,” since we wouldn’t complain about what we get (it’s what we signed up for) unless we know how much the others got.

Yeah… I feel a blog post coming on this one, but for now you can read that parable in Matthew 20:1-16.

God said NO because it would reveal my divinity.

I am no Michelangelo. I can’t see The David in a piece of rock.

God, on the other hand, is The Master Architect and I am His Masterpiece.

Are you chuckling along with me? Some masterpiece, huh?

And that’s just it. A precious, divine, and beautiful piece of rock He keeps chiseling out.

See, God is not so concerned with my feeling better right now, but helping me gain from the pain.

God won’t answer my prayer with instant gratification and temporary fixes because He wants to comfort me through the process and lead me to lasting transformation.

God’s NO is developing my character and bringing out all the divine qualities that I need.

God’s NO is preparation.

Each NO along my journey has cultivated perseverance, patience, and persistence and it has built my faith.

Each time God says no, we are able to see where we are in our earthly attachments.

We can examine where our treasures lie and what idols may be worshipping; those things where we seek happiness in this world.

Then we are able to surrender, to quietly accept His will, because that is how we can live up to our potential.

My loving God is in control

I’ve learned that God is not my genie – and even genies have a limit on how many wishes they can grant.

I am working at being less demanding and more humble in my requests, and to surrender to His NO.

Doubt, bitterness and discouragement are part of grieving, and yet, with each experience, we must learn to move through the stages a bit quicker.

When something I yearn to see happen (or not happen) doesn’t work out for me, rather than whining or complaining about how unfair it is and wallowing in self-pity, I need to practice acceptance.

He’s not a cruel God that just ignores or forgets our pleads. He hears us and cares for us.

His will and His timing is perfect, so it is natural that many times, these won’t match up with ours.

Delay is not denial, so maybe He will say yes someday… and maybe not in the way I think.

As they say: “Prayer doesn’t get man’s will done in heaven, but God’s will done on earth.

So tonight, I will get on my knees, and pour my soul out to God in prayer.

And as I lay my sorrows at His feet, I will strive to remember that prayers are answered to my benefit.

May I listen for the answer and praise, both when it’s a Yes or a No.

Has God said no to your righteous petition before? Tell us your experience below!

Elayna Fernandez - Bestselling Author - 
Transformational Trainer and Keynote Speaker - Mentor to Mom Entrepreneurs

© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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Bernie Wallace

Friday 29th of January 2021

This is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

The Nameless Man

Sunday 16th of August 2020

I am sorry, everyone; for it would appear that I made a mistake. Happiness is up to us from a certain point of view. We have to make it happen ad god blesses, with him at our side. But without his blessings, gifts and straight up divine intimacy, we would never be truly happy. And none of us would be saved. I hope that cleared something up. Have a great day, everyone.

The Nameless Man

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

Sorry I forgot something. He gives blessings not just as random acts of kindness but to reward us for righteous acts. Does it not say in proverbs he refreshes those who refresh others. If he punishes us for bad behavior then logically and speaking he rewards good works. But we can't earn salvation. Only by being born again through water and spirit by accepting jesus can we be saved. When we show a mustard seed, the fruit of the spirit and god waters it. A the holy spirit starts to sprout in the form of a plant. The acts as a spiritual fire that burns our sins into ashes and the water washes away our sins changes our sinful roots into roots of righteousness. If it was one or the other between the two our hearts would only be temporarily pure. By the way happiness is not up to us only, if it was we wouldn't need god's blessings. That's all I have to say. Have a delightful day everyone

The Nameless Man

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

THIS IS ALL BLASPHEMY!!! Don't rebuke me yet. Let me explain why. God does take away pride. He does and we do not truly give it up. That's because only god can take away sin. None of us are good enough to get rid of it on our own. You could say it like this too: we give it up as we let God take it.

He does heal the handicapped. He wants to heal them all. Some just are not faithful enough or don't want to be healed. Because they are set in their ways, they want to be a role model to the disabled or they just want to be different and other reasons. But not all difference is for the better. I happen to have enough power to heal others and I have healed many. I can pray for it and it happens. I can denounce it using jesus's name. Or I can use his name to command those spirits to flee. And I went through quite a lot to get this powerful in the spirit.

Moving on now. Patience is not just learned, earned. Does it not say god refreshes those who refresh others in the book of proverbs. We can't earn salvation, but god does not overlook our good works. He also gives us patience and many other things to prepare us for a big test. It also comes with age.

The one about pain is also a big lie. He spares us pain that we don't need. We also only grow from it if we are strong. If we are bitter and upset, we weaken.

Happiness is not up to us. God gives blessings and that brings happiness for we are nothing without him. None of us are good enough to make it without him. Even jesus wasn't because he was human too. Did he not need serious help when he was almost tormented to death from the stress and pressure of his fate? If the angel did not comfort him he would have died right there. Then no one would have been saved. And did you know the blood droplets from his head represented the healing of mental illness and learning disabilities?which are the same thing, by the way. Because they turn us into something we are not. Sometimes it is genetic. Other times they happen to us because we keep winning without repentance. And they are really inner demons. Real demons. If there was one good mental illness, which there is not, it wouldn't be called a mental illness nor a disability. No offense to any of the disabled, by the way. I will pray to god to heal and many ad he is willing when I am finished with this lecture and I plan to destroy all the work that awful ugly old bat madalyn Murray o'hair did against god as best I can. If the person. Keeps sinning for a long time they disown jesus and become a false prophet, aka psychopath. The soul of the person is condemned and those inner demons gain complete control of the dead person's body. I witnessed it. I used the words of jesus against false prophets then they were very very terrified and ran for it and hid like a petrified injured animal. Some have even got terrified when I became furious at them because I was exhibiting righteous anger. Not one of them did one good thing. All they ever did and ever will do is hurt others in the name of their father, LUCIFER!

Well back to the poem. God does prune us to make our spirits grow, but we do not grow on our own. I repeat, we do NOT grow on our own. If that were possible we wouldn't need god.

The last one you might disagree with me at first, but read it and you will understand. We cannot love others how god loves us. For only he knows everything about us and only god himself is good. He's a ove even jesus, otherwise he wouldn't have rejected being called good and said that only god himself is good. And none of us are like god. Even if we share some of his traits, we still do not truly have it in common with him because it's not to the same degree or in the same way. And the Hebrew meaning of the name, michael, the archangel is no one is like god.

By the way, god never ever uses slang, such as "Ah". He does occasionally use informal talk, except really, he doesn't. Ex. Jesus once said the word hades. Does that make him a sinner, since we should not say the name of an idol? And would that mean there is an inconsistency in the bible? ABSOLUTELY NOT! He was referring to the original hell, which was punishment for the wicked in a place called Sheoul. Look it up in the gospel of luke, but go for the king james translation for it to be accurate. That was one side of Sheoul. The other side wad Abraham's bosom. That's where the righteous went where they were in comfort as if they were asleep. That's why jesus said the dead 12 year old was not dead but asleep. And the dead were in hades, not Abraham's bosom. Remember god is the god of the living, not the dead. There was a bright tree illuminating Abraham's bosom and a chasm dividing the two sides, people on neither could cross over to the other. Nobody could go to heaven in the old testament because that was before christ. No pun intended. Elijah when he left flew up into heaven but not the afterlife, the sky and went elsewhere to help because Israel did not need him anymore because his mission was over. It says in chronicles after he was gone that a wicked king of Israel got a letter from Elijah and he wasn't in the real heaven because up there we have no knowledge of evil. If we did we wouldn't have true harmony up there. The children who were too young to be judged could go to heaven because god is not capable of condemning little children. It says no man had been to heaven except for the man who came down from heaven. It said no man, not no one. But some translations would disagree, but children are innocent and pure.

The apostles creed was a lie too. Jesus did not go to hell. He was perfect! He went to Abraham's bosom and preached to them for three days. The pagans had a chance to be ause they did not know they were worshipping the wrong thing. They were spiritually bling. It says in the gospel of John if you are blind you are not guilty of sin. Remember god is not an authoritarian god. Anyway some accepted jesus and were redeemed and the rest said no and jesus had them sent over to hades. After the first revelation, hades gave up the dead and now they are in the hell that we know today. Then death and hades were thrown in the lake of fire, which is where the wicked will end up after their executions when the end of this sinful world comes a out. They will drink of the wine of god's wrath. Which had been poured full strength into the cup of his anger. They Angels will be performing the executions by force feeding the people the wine and they will get literally dead drunk and fall into the lake of fire where they will be tormented with Lucifer day and night with all of demon kind forever and ever. No rest day or night for the wicked and it is literally infinitely worse than hell itself. Believe me I am dead serious. No pun intended. It was meant for lucifer and his demon subjects only. Not for humans but some choose it and god honors their Decision.

One more paragraph and I will wrap this all up. God can be a disciplinarian sometimes but he naturally would rather not. But if we adhere to disobedience, he has to. But he is not an authoritarian. He blesses us abundantly, but he is not permissive indulgent. He sometimes seems distant, but that only happens if we constantly do evil in his eyes. Usually when he seems distant, it means he is much closer. He may be guiding us to a new person in need or it could be he is putting us to a test and won't intervene unless there is a reason to. A real teacher oversees our progress. If he stepped in, that would make it too easy on us, unless the situation got out of hand. He does however keep us strong and we go about the test. He may seem distant also because he could be communicating with us some other way and teaching it to us and also be teaching us new things. To sum it up, he works in mysterious ways and is not permissive indifferent. He is completely authoritative. I hope I have taught you well, brothers and sisters. That wraps up this lecture.

Khushboo Chaudhary

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

@The Nameless Man, and one more thing I'm disagree with is that God uses slang language. He communicates in the language which makes you comfort. Some worship him like father so talks like father, some treat him as mother so he talks like mother and some treat him like a friend so he talks like a friend.

Khushboo Chaudhary

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

@The Nameless Man, I agree that we are not like God and can not love others as God does but this is what God wants us to do. He wants us to experience ourselves as God and this is only possible when we believe that if God helps we can do anything like God does.


Friday 12th of February 2021

@The Nameless Man, Thank you for this information. I found it very interesting.