“Pastor, I prayed to God about something and I was so sure of the answer. Unfortunately, God did not answer. What could have been the problem?”
God answers us when we pray in faith; however, a lack of understanding of how He answers has been the challenge for many believers. Let me show you a scripture:
35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
I often hear believers say things like, “I was believing God for… But…”. That’s a clear indication that they don’t understand what it means to believe God for something. So that scripture tells us, it says “don’t cast away your confidence in God, because it will be compensated with a reward”. This means that under no circumstances should you stop having faith in God regarding that which you are asking from him, and although it may not come exactly as you requested at first, but your faith will be compensated with something that will initiate the manifestation of that which you requested.
Lets assume you asked God to give you a good wife, and the very next thing that happens is that they sacked you from your place of employment. Someone else may start complaining, unknowing to him that it was the prayer he prayed that initiated that process. Perhaps God has checked you and realized that as long as you have your job, you’re never going to consider the poor young lady that lives in the next street. Meanwhile, that lady is capable of making a good wife.
You’re probably wondering why God couldn’t just tell you to marry the lady instead of taking your job, right? Well, sometimes, God doesn’t tell us what to do, He trains and restrains us so that we can know what to do. Human beings are naturally stubborn, that’s why one of the most effective ways to transmit knowledge to man is by experience. A man hardly forgets the things he learnt by experience.
It couldn’t have been a coincidence that you lost your job just after you prayed for a good wife. It couldn’t have been a coincidence that your boss suddenly hates you after you prayed to God to give you your own business. It couldn’t have been a coincidence that your child is sick after you prayed for the healing anointing.
There are some requests we make to God that comes with a curriculum that needs to be completed. Verse 36 of that scripture says, “we have need of patience, after we have done the will of God, we might receive the promise”. You may have prayed to God to give you a house of your own, and even though He’d love to give you a house immediately, you probably don’t have enough experience to be a landlord. So, He may suddenly harden the heart of your landlord such that every day would become a living hell for you. The purpose of that isn’t so that you can hate your landlord, but to learn how tenants will feel when you maltreat them.
I once worked with a pastor who suddenly became very mean to me after two years of working with him. I couldn’t make sense of the sudden change until this revelation came. As a matter of fact, forgiving him would have been a difficult task if it wasn’t for this revelation. God can harden the heart of anybody, including a pastor, just so that His will for you can be completed. My time was up in that organization, but I didn’t know. Now that I think about it, there was no way I was going to know because that pastor was like a father to me. Believe me, some people are too comfortable to receive the answers they seek, God would first cause some level of discomfort before He delivers their answer.
I stopped working with that pastor in September 2016 and stayed jobless till January 2017. I needed a business or a job desperately, so I engaged in a 21-day fast that January just so I could gain direction on the exact thing to do. Among my prayers was that God should establish me so that I could emerge a blessing to my world. In May 2017, a company I never applied to for a job offered me a job with a salary of forty five thousand Naira. As an IT Expert, that offer was way below my pay grade, and it clearly didn’t look like the prosperity I asked God for. I got another offer the same day and they were going to pay close to 150 thousand Naira. Since I had prayed to God to prosper me, I didn’t want to lean on my own understanding, so I asked Him which of the jobs I should take. To my amazement, He told me to stay in the 45 thousand Naira job.
Again, it didn’t look like the prosperity I asked for, but what I didn’t know was that the job was a compensation for having faith in God for my prosperity. He couldn’t release the prosperity I asked for immediately, probably because it would affect my relationship with Him at that time, so He sent me to a place where He’d prepare me for the blessing I asked for. The organization isn’t even a Christian organization, but it was a platform for me to express the gifts He had put in me.
It’s been about six years now, and I’m amazed how that God has answered every single prayer I prayed in January 2017. Asides that, by the help of God, I started a fellowship in the organization over 3 years ago, and many lives have been transformed. Everybody calls me pastor, both within and outside the organization.
I need to mention this; the salary has multiplied over the years, but the prosperity I prayed for didn’t come from the salary I earn. As a matter of fact, I mostly use my salary to sow seeds into the lives of people. I’ve stayed back in that organization, not because I need the salary, but because of the fellowship and the souls that are yet to be reached.
As I conclude, beware of complaining, it complicates things for you. The journey to Canaan from Egypt was supposed to be 40 days, but complain and lack of trust in God escalated it to 40 years. Always remember that as long as you love God, all things will work together for your good, not for your peril. Jacob had just been blessed by his father, but he had to go endure hardness in Laban’s house. Think of Joseph, Daniel, Moses, Abraham, and many others. There’d often be a season of preparation before you can receive that which you desired. You just need to be sensitive enough to discern what the Lord is doing. If He decides to start with a seed, then rejoice, because it’s only a matter of time before the full harvest comes.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!