Opening Verse – Jeremiah 33:3 – Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
God says “no” – The request is not in accord with His will
2 Corinthians 12:7–9 – So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
God says “slow” – The request is right but the timing is wrong
Psalm 37:7 – Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Isaiah 55:8–9 – For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God says “grow” – The request is right but you are not right
I may have an impure heart – Psalm 66:18 – If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
I may have inactive knees – James 4:2 – You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.
I may have improper motives – James 4:3 – You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
I may have insufficient faith – James 1:5–6 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
I may have an insensitive spirit – Proverbs 21:13 – Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
I may have irreconcilable differences – Matthew 5:23–24 – So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
God says “go” – The request is right, the timing is right and I’m right
1 John 5:14–15 – And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.