“I have a question, but before I ask it, I want you to say ‘yes.’” Nearly every parent has heard such a request from their child. The only reasonable response is to admit that we can’t guarantee what our answer will be until we have first heard the request.
Some of the hardest requests we make in prayer are those when we are unsure of what the answer should be. This is especially true when we already desire a specific answer. David made such a request after his first child by Bathsheba was born. When he confessed his sin, the prophet informed David, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die” (2 Sam. 12:13–14).
David spent the next seven days pleading with God for the child. During that period, the elders of David’s court gathered around him in concern and attempted to persuade him to eat. But after the child died, David dressed himself, went into the Lord’s house to worship, then returned home and asked for food. We can hear the turmoil of David’s thoughts in verses 22 and 23, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” David’s behavior shows his doubts, but also his trust in God’s answer.
>> We can make bold requests even when we are unsure how God will answer. You may not always be sure how (or when) God will answer your prayers, but you can always be certain of His goodness. God always knows what is best for you.
Sometimes we hesitate to make requests because we fear You will say no. Give us faith to ask for what is on our hearts. Grant us confidence in Your goodness, even when Your answer isn’t what we want to hear.