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Why God’s Answer to Prayer Is Always ‘Yes!’

What’s behind getting to the truth of God’s desires for you.

Rick Hamlin
Credit: Jim Anness
Prayer is a powerful force for good. At Guideposts, we believe in the strength of prayer to bring comfort, hope, and healing. Your generous donation today will help us continue to share the power of prayer with those in need. Together, through prayer and support, we can make a difference.

God’s answer to prayer is always “Yes!” I’ve heard some people say, “Of course God answers prayer. He’ll say ‘No,’ ‘Maybe’ or ‘Yes.’” I don’t buy that. I believe that God’s answer to prayer is always “Yes!” Always. And take note of that exclamation point.

It is for us to hear that “Yes!”

Sometimes our prayers are too small. It’s as though we don’t want to be disappointed so we ask for less than we really want. We hedge our bets. But really, who are we fooling? God knows the secrets of our hearts. Often better than we do. 

Don’t ask for less. Pay attention to what God wants of you. Embrace it. Go for it. Have the courage to see that it’s what you want too.

I think of what I went through when I was launching myself out in the world after college. I wanted to be a writer, but I was sure I would be disappointed. I turned this way and that. Finally, I conceded that I would be a writer. Somehow.

I sent in a story to a little inspirational called Guideposts. The editor called me in to talk about it. It wasn’t right for publication, but he encouraged me to try again. I did. And did again. Eventually I got hired on staff.

Guess what? I’m still writing for that organization. Was I just lucky? I don’t think so. I was answering the call of my heart. God’s big “Yes!”

One of the crucial lessons Jesus teaches about prayer is persistence. Persistence through our disappointments and setbacks. In the parable of the importunate widow he tells of a widow who kept coming again and again to an unjust judge, seeking justice. Finally, the unjust judge gives in. “I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming” (Luke 18:5).

Jesus goes on to say, “And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? (Luke 18:7).

Persistence gives us a chance to know ourselves in knowing our prayers. We have a better understanding of what we’re asking for.

In another parable Jesus describes a man who wakes up his friend in the middle of the night because he needs some bread to feed an unexpected guest. The friend tells him to go away. The door is already locked, and he’s in bed with his children. In the end the friend finally gets up and gets the bread. Why? Because of his persistence! “At least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs” (Luke 11:8).

Jesus is telling us to be persistent in prayer. Keep at it. Don’t give up. There is an answer God is trying to give us. Not “No” or “Maybe.” There is only “Yes!”

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