“Request Denied” certainly isn’t a phrase we like to hear, especially if it is an answer to something we feel is essential to the happiness in our life. The “Request Denied” phrase refers to a desire that has gone unfulfilled. A simple phrase that means the same thing as NO. When this answer arrives in the mail, on the phone, face to face, or is evident from the absence of YES, it creates an atmosphere of disappointment, a mood of despair, and the thought that we have to continue to deal with whatever is hurting us or bringing us a loss of joy.
How do we deal with such a situation especially when our request has been denied by our Creator, the One who has given us the privilege of coming to Him in prayer? Thoughts of “my God does not care for me” can creep in causing our trust to be shaken, causing us to doubt the power of God, and in some cases, cause people to walk away from God’s saving grace.
In Philippians 4:6 it says “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This scripture is true and to be received with the faith that God cares for us and wants to assist us in living our lives.
However, understanding and accepting the reasons our requests have been denied is critical to development of our faith. The first thought to be realized is that NO is an answer to a request. However, the question that comes up is why would a loving God who cares for us so much say NO.
The scriptures give us a glimpse into the lives of men and women who experienced the answer “Request Denied” from God. For them, the answer NO came in many different situations. For some it was due to a sin that was committed, for some it was to be humbled, and for others it was for the betterment of people around them, or themselves.
Examples of Requests being Denied
- Moses’ Request when he was told he could not go into the promised land, Canaan. This happened because of an outburst of pride and anger. He begged God to allow him to go across the Jordan. After all, hadn’t he been a faithful servant for forty years? But God’s answer was a resounding “No.”
- “Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon. The LORD was angry with me and would not listen to me. ‘That is enough,’ the LORD said. ‘Do not speak to me anymore about this matter” (Deut. 3: 25-26).
- King David’s Request He began with the passion of his heart, pulling back the curtain to reveal his deepest desire—the dreams and plans for building a temple to the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:2). It was a dream that went unfulfilled in his lifetime. “God said to me,” David told his people, “‘You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood'” (28:3).
- Paul’s Request 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- Elijah’s Request Elijah the prophet wanted to die. He asked God to take his life. 1 Kings 19:4-9 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers” He wanted to dies because he had come to the conclusion that he was a failure. The Lord asked “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
- Jesus’ Request Matthew 26:39 ” And going a little farther He fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
MOSES’ “NO” WAS DUE TO SINNING
DAVID’S “NO” WAS DUE TO THE LORD WANTING A MAN OF PEACE TO BUILD HIS TEMPLE
PAUL’S “NO” WAS TO SHOW THE POWER OF GOD IN WEAKNESS
ELIJAH’S “NO” WAS TO SAVE HIS LIFE AND GIVE HIM A NEW PURPOSE.
JESUS’ “NO” WAS DUE TO GOD WANTING SALVATION FOR YOU AND ME
One precious idea we see from all four examples is that, even though they were all told “NO”, they continued to follow God, accepted the answer in faith, trusted the Lord, and followed HIS will.
If you have experienced a “REQUEST DENIED” from the Father in Heaven, it’s not because He does not care for you, or wants to hurt you or ignore you, but rather that He knows what is best.
1. The answer NO could really mean WAIT, it is not the right time.
2. The answer NO could really mean I am asking for something with the wrong motive.
3. The answer NO could really mean something better is in the works.
4. The answer NO could really mean that it will save your life.
5. The answer NO could really mean that you will help another person experiencing the same problem.
6. The answer NO could really mean God has something else in store for you.
7. The answer NO could really mean that God can’t give something that is against His nature to give. Our God is just God holding true to his Word.
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
James 4:3 “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.”
What do I do when my request has been denied, when NO is the answer to my prayer: Trust God, love God, follow God, work according to his purpose, have the words “Not my will, but your will be done” on my lips, and continue to pray. We must realize that the Lord is working in our lives even if we do not fully understand exactly how or in what time frame.