How do you know when God is saying wait rather than no? The answer sounds the same and looks the same at the moment.
When God says wait, it sounds like no
When God says wait, He is saying no for the moment. That is all you need to know, unless He reveals otherwise. The answer wait is no, not now.
The next question that arises is how you should pray when God says no or no, not now? Jesus explained in Luke 18:1 that you should keep asking until He says yes or makes it clear to you not to ask anymore.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)
“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” (Luke 18:7)
This is an interesting story told by Jesus because He is giving us permission to ask God for something even though He says no. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked His Father to let the cup of suffering pass by Him if possible. His request was denied three times.
The Apostle Paul asked God three times to remove an annoyance out of his life. He said it was a messenger of Satan that was bothering him and called it a thorn in his flesh. Even though God said no, Paul asked again a second time. God said no again. Paul asked a third time. And God still said no. After the third time, God made it clear to Paul that His grace was sufficient. Paul rejoiced in God’s answer, knowing that it was God’s will, which was better than Paul’s will. Paul stopped asking.
When God says wait, He is saying no, not now. So the answer of wait is the same as a no, at the moment. Unless God makes it clear to you that His answer is absolutely no, you have permission to keep asking and waiting until He says yes.
Verses about prayers denied
Jas 4:3, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Ps 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
Isa 59:2, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.”
Joh 9:31, “Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.”
Mal 1:7-9, “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.”
Pr 1:24-28, “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me.”
Verses about prayers granted
Mr 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
1Jo 5:14-15, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Joh 15:16, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Jas 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
1Jo 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
Verses about prayers granted after persistently asking
Lu 18:1-7, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
Eph 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
1Th 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
Ro 12:12, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”
Col 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.”
Matt 26:44, “And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.”
Verses about answers that deceive
2Th 2:9, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
Ac 8:11, “And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.”
2Co 4:4, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
2Co 11:3, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Re 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
Mt 16:4, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.”
Mt 24:4-5, “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
Mt 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
When God says no
When God says no, you have permission to keep asking until He says yes. Until He makes it clear to you that He is saying absolutely no and tells you never to ask again, He is saying wait.
Changing your life for good
If this article has helped you in some way, share your blessing with others. Let me know in what way you benefitted.
Ask God to teach you more about prayer. And search for more articles in my blog for more insights into prayer.
I look forward to hearing from you and reading your comment below.