Message Action Plan

When God Says "No"

There’s no such thing as an unanswered prayer. God answers every prayer with “Yes,” “Wait,” or “No.” The last response is always the most difficult one to receive, and can be flat-out heartbreaking. In this message, Pastor Rick Warren teaches us three reasons God says, “No.” You’ll learn how God’s answer is his way of protecting you, helping you grow spiritually, and teaching you his perspective, plan, and purpose for your life. Discover how to trust that God does everything—even saying, “No”—out of goodness and love. Don’t miss Part 7 of 40 Days of Prayer.

More from this series

 “Call to Me and I will answer you . . .”   Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

3 OF THE MANY REASONS GOD SAYS ‘NO’

CAUTION: Use these to comfort yourself, but NEVER use them with someone in pain, because you don’t know why God said no to them.

  1. GOD SAYS ‘NO’ WHEN HE HAS A BIGGER PERSPECTIVE

“He knows about everyone everywhere. Everything about us is bare and wide open to the all-seeing eyes of our living God; nothing can be hidden from Him . . .” Hebrews 4:13 (LB)

 “(God) guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.”  Proverbs. 2:8 (NIV) 

  1. GOD SAYS ‘NO’ WHEN HE HAS A BETTER PLAN

God: “This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are My thoughts the same as yours! For My ways are higher than yours.”  Isaiah 55:8-9 (LB) 

“These were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned SOMETHING BETTER. . .” Hebrews 11:39-40 (NIV)

God has all of eternity to fulfill His Promises  

  1. GOD SAYS ‘NO’ WHEN HE HAS A GREATER PURPOSE

“The purpose of these troubles is to test your faith as fire tests how genuine gold is. Your faith is more precious than gold.” 1 Peter 1:7 (GW)

“These present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they will produce in us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!  So, we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)

“Just as you’ll never understand how the mystery of life forms in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 (Message)

ACTION PLAN: List or journal some past prayer requests in which God answered differently than you had hoped for. Think through these three points and write about how God’s perspective, plan, and purpose may have been revealed through his answer.   

ACTION PLAN: Watch Socrates Perez’s video message about writing the song “Your Will Be Done” (click here) and then listen to song itself (click here).  

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN GOD SAYS ‘NO’? 

  1. TRUST THAT GOD DOES EVERYTHING OUT OF HIS GOODNESS AND LOVE

   “All the ways of the Lord are loving . . .”  Psalm 25:10 (NIV)

“In everything God works for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28 (ICB) 

I don’t have to understand God's answer to know that it is motivated by love

  1. WHEN IN PAIN, PRAY WHAT JESUS PRAYER FACING THE CROSS

“Going a little farther, Jesus fell to the ground praying that, if possible, he might not have to suffer what was ahead of him. Jesus prayed “Abba! My Father! All things are possible for you! Please take this cup of suffering away from me! Yet I want your will, not mine, to be done!” Mark 14:35-36

The Right Way to Pray

  • Affirm God's power

         “Father, I know you can do anything!” 

  • Ask with passion

           “Father, please give me what I ask!”

  • Accept God's plan

           “However, what I want most is your will!”

  1. EXPECT GOD TO GIVE HIS GRACE TO HANDLE HIS ANSWER

(Paul) “Three times I prayed to the Lord about this and asked him to take it away. But his answer was: “My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak.” So, I gladly boast about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power can flow through me! . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong!”  2 Corinthians 12:8-10 

“Those who know you, Lord, will trust you! You do not abandon anyone who comes to you!” Psalm 9:10 (TEV)

ACTION PLAN: Write down these three points and keep them with you (In your purse, your wallet, wherever is easily accessible). Whenever God says no, pull out this list as a reminder of what to do in those situations.   

Doable Discipleship: This week’s episode of Doable Discipleship wraps up the discussion on worldview, talking about how the Bible says everything will end. To watch or listen, click here.

Talk It Over: Have you ever discussed the weekend message in your small group? Talk It Over provides weekly small group discussion questions as a way to bring the weekend message into your small group. To view this week’s Talk It Over, click here.

40 Days of Prayer
September 24 - November 26, 2017Watch Series
  • Do You Really Want To Grow Up?
    September 24, 2017
  • A Beginners Guide To Prayer
    October 1, 2017
  • Prayers That Work
    October 15, 2017
  • The Purpose, Practice, and Power of Prayer
    October 22, 2017
  • HOW TO PRAY THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY
    November 5, 2017
  • How To Pray For Healing & Restoration
    November 12, 2017
  • God is Not a Sleepy Friend
    November 19, 2017
  • When God Says "No"
    November 26, 2017