10 Things to Do when God Seems to be Saying, “No”

We’ve all been there. We pray and pray, and it seems God’s answer is “no.” When that happens, here’s what I encourage you to do: 

  1. Trust His wisdom. He always knows what’s right. He is, in fact, the standard for right. 
  2. Trust His heart. He loves you more than you can ever know. Lean into that love. 
  3. Trust His long-term goal. He’s conforming you to the image of His Son (Rom 8:29). It may be that His saying “no” right now is part of His plan to get you there. 
  4. Trust His grace. As He did with the apostle Paul’s request to remove his thorn (2 Cor 12:7-10), God sometimes tells us “no” because He wants us to see the sufficiency of His grace. 
  5. Trust His timing. His “no” may actually be a “wait,” but He seldom operates according to our calendar or clock. How long He takes to answer our prayer is up to Him. 
  6. Trust His record. Read the Bible again, and see God for who He truly is. See the validity of David’s words even when God says ‘no’”: “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread” (Psa 37:25). 
  7. Check your heart. Where sin reigns (Isa 59:1-2), when we ask selfishly (James 4:3), or when our marriage relationship is weakened (1 Pet 3:7), we cannot expect God to give us a “yes” response to our requests. 
  8. Check your ears. Pay attention to the voices you listen to if God has chosen to say “no” for now. Trust God and His Word—listen to Him, and ignore the enemy who wants you to doubt God today and turn away from Him tomorrow. 
  9. Check your hands and feet. That is, keep serving God with all your being even if you don’t like God’s response to your prayers. Disobedience never leads to more answered prayer. 
  10. Check your knees. God’s present-tense “no” is seldom a call to stop praying for a legitimate request. Stay on your knees, even if they’re calloused before God answers your prayer. 

What would you add to this list? 

1 Comment

  • Marti Feros says:

    Thank you for the information on 10 things to do when Gods answers No. Your information is very helpful to anybody struggling with this response from God. However, this response from God of No within our Christian worldview, seems to be interpreted as negative or undesirable when seeking God. Although the response of No may be a positive and loving way, that God keeps us safe and secure when making discissions regarding our relationships, finances, faith, and even Gods calling for lives in him.

    As sometimes we are not aware of the complexity in why God says No, as this response from God may be the catalysis for the Lord, for doing greater things in our lives. As God often sees things in our lives that we do not see. In this way, the response of No can teach us wisdom and understanding for making it easier to trust God even in difficult seasons of our lives, when God answers No.

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