How does God answer prayer? He speaks in one of three ways: “Yes,” “No,” or “Wait”. To illustrate, it may be helpful to think of how you answer your children when they ask for things.

Suppose your child asks you for something that you know would be good for them, like food at dinnertime, a bath before bed, or another push on the swing set. “No problem,” you think. “I can do that.”

Now what about when your little one asks for something you know is harmful? Let’s say he wants to cross a busy intersection . . . or he asks for ice cream for dinner instead of spaghetti . . . or he wants to eat a handful of dirt on the playground. Any good parent would say resoundingly, “No!”

But what happens when he or she asks for a snowboard or a bicycle before they are ready? One day he might be ready, but not now.

It’s the same way with our Heavenly Father. Some of the requests we make are good, so God allows them to come to pass. Others are just plain bad for us, even though we may not see this clearly. And then there are those items on our list that we are not quite ready to handle.

God is the perfect Father, Who not only knows what we need, but also understands the perfect timing. We can trust Him completely.

Good prayers never come creeping home. I am sure I shall receive either what I ask or what I should ask. — Joseph Hall

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder