Have you ever asked God for something and received no immediate answer? Saul asked God for counsel but God, “did not answer him that day” (1 Samuel 14:37). In many Seminary classrooms and in conferences too numerous to count, I have taught that there is no such thing as unanswered prayer for believers. Sometimes God says “yes,” sometimes “no,” occasionally “wait,” perhaps “how about this” (when the answer is different from the request), maybe even “you’ve got to be joking.” But there is no such thing as God refusing to answer a believer’s prayer request. So what do we make of this apparent non-answer from God to Saul? There are several possibilities. Perhaps Saul asked “amiss” (James 4:3). Maybe Saul had unconfessed sin in his life that blocked his communication with God. Then again, it could have been the sin of someone else, like Jonathan that prevented an immediate answer. A human father must always consider the good of the family over the good of any individual member of the family. It could be that God had a larger plan for the family, than would be reflected in Saul’s request for personal “counsel.” When God does not respond to our “asking,” what are we to do? Try “seeking” and if that doesn’t work, try “knocking” (Matthew 7:7). While God may not respond immediately, He will eventually respond. Walk on – not by sight, but by faith. Pray on – not occasionally but without ceasing. Listen on – to God and all whom God might use in the answer. Remember, it only took eight verses (1 Samuel 14:45) for God to eventually answer Saul’s prayer and He did so, not with His own words as Saul was expecting, but through the actions of the people.
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