God always answers prayer. He just might not respond as we think He should. A family of four needed to replace their car. Together, they set a price ceiling and prayed about their specific need. After finding a car they liked, the husband made an offer to the seller. The man rejected the offer, and set a price nearly $200 higher.
The disappointed man went back to his family and shared the news. Even though the offer the seller had proposed was only off by $200, they had very specifically asked God for a car at the amount they had set. Should they compromise and say this price was close enough, or should they hold out and wait until they could find something which matched their price? The husband and wife knew their kids had been praying with them, and this would be an important lesson in trusting God. They decided to wait until they found something which specifically matched their request. Four days later, the seller called back to let the man know he had changed his offer. He matched their price, and they were able to buy the car.
Does prayer always get answered this way? No, but more often than not, God waits until we are ready to trust Him enough to provide specifically before He gives us what we desire. Not just any house, but a house in good condition and in a good neighborhood. Not just any mate, but a mate with the personality and character you need best to help you serve the Lord. Not just any job, but a job where you can make enough money to provide for your family and be the best possible influence for Christ. Not just wisdom, but the ability to make specific decisions today. Be specific with God, and you will get specific answers. He may not respond the way you think He should, but He will always answer your prayers.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder