I Wish I Had Accepted God’s No – By Cindy Tutsch

16-04-10 God said No

It happened many years ago, but I remember it as clearly as yesterday.

I did not receive the desire of my heart, and I pleaded with God for a reversal. For hours I cried, cajoled, and promised in prayer. Indeed, I wept without ceasing. What I did not do was read Scripture with an honest heart to see whether God might have had a reason to say no to my prayer.

Perhaps the Lord wearied of my insistent clamoring for my own way. Perhaps He saw that I was too focused on what I wanted to hear His still small voice of reason. In hindsight, I see Him sadly moving out of the way to allow circumstances to give me what I demanded. Like a stone tossed into a pond, the tragic results of that demand rippled out to negatively impact every aspect of my life.

In the years since that life-altering day, I have learned so much about prayer, about God, and about myself. I’m still studying the “science of prayer.” The following are three things that Jesus has taught me as I’ve sought a relationship with Him in His Word, through prayer and, yes, even through obedience to His will.

  1. If it’s for something that harmonizes with Scripture, don’t hesitate to pray and to pray boldly. “It is part of God’s plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask” (The Great Controversy, p. 525). God longs to communicate with us, so “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).
  2. God knows more than we do. God knows the end from the beginning. God knows whether a choice that seems spiritually benign to us may actually become a tool of Satan to hinder our walk with Him. Therefore, give Him sovereignty. Trust His judgment and allow Him to say no. Unless it’s for your salvation, or the salvation of others, don’t insist God answer your prayers your way. There’s a reason Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
  3. Believe that God can give you a new heart, a clean heart, regardless of your choices that have caused Him pain (Psalm 51:10, Ezekiel 36:26). Have confidence in God as a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God. There is nothing God wants more than to transform you to be like Him. Even when we deviate from His path, He can still turn circumstances for His glory. Jesus can still give fresh life and hope to a heart burdened by sin.

So keep praying! But remember that for our best good, God sometimes must say no.

Cindy Tutsch formerly was associate director for the Ellen G. White Estate. She has retired but now coordinates the Believe His Prophets daily reading program, and speaks and preaches worldwide.

Note: To view this week’s world church prayer requests, click here!

To download & print this blog, practical application, & prayer requests, click here!

4543060842_e4fdb33047_bPractical Application: 

It’s not easy when God fails to answer our prayers in the way we hope, however Inspiration tells us the following:

“In the future life the mysteries that here have annoyed and disappointed us will be made plain. We shall see that our seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointed hopes have been among our greatest blessings.” Ministry of Healing, p. 474

In another place we are told:

“When we do not receive the very things we asked for, at the time we ask, we are still to believe that the Lord hears and that He will answer our prayers. We are so erring and short-sighted that we sometimes ask for things that would not be a blessing to us, and our heavenly Father in love answers our prayers by giving us that which will be for our highest good—that which we ourselves would desire if with vision divinely enlightened we could see all things as they really are. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we are to cling to the promise; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But to claim that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire, is presumption. God is too wise to err, and too good to withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly. Then do not fear to trust Him, even though you do not see the immediate answer to your prayers. Rely upon His sure promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” Steps to Christ, p. 96

Let’s seek to trust God, and have faith even when He doesn’t work as quickly as we hope. Let’s also trust Him even when the answer is “No.”

Dear Heavenly Father, You see the end from the beginning. You know better than we what we most need. If we are to persevere in prayer and not give up, help us to have faith. However, if You are trying to tell us that what we are asking is not for our best good, please open our eyes to see and to accept Your will. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen!

Promises to Claim: Rom. 8:28, Prov. 3:5,6

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  • likie

    May God bless you for your testimony. It helps me ! thanks God to allow him use you for his glory and to be a blessing for other.

  • Khethy

    Amen my prayer too is to hear when He says No

  • N Bal4 – Sinner saved by Grace

    May I never take a No as rejection let me always know that your answer Lord is always the best for me even if it’s a No. Amen

  • Vlasta Hitzgerová

    Thank you very much for your testimony! It reminds me the words of inspiration: “God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.” (DA 224)

    • Melodious Echo

      Powerful quote! Thanks for sharing!

  • Ros Farrell

    Thank you Cindy for the insights from your testimony. Sovereign Lord help me always to accept that You have my best interest at heart, and that as I sit at the feet of Jesus, only His voice will be distinguishable in my heart, I pray in His holy name. Amen

  • Derek Morris

    Thanks for a powerful testimony, Cindy. God loves us too much to always answer “Yes” when we pray.
    May we always have the courage to pray, “Not my will, Father, but Yours be done.”

    • PNB

      On the subject of prayer:
      How can unity and ‘one accord’ be achieved when many local church congregations across the world are not informed of the World Church calls to prayer. The World Church plans years in advance so if it is communicated this gives more than enough time for local churches to inform congregations and make these calls to United Prayer part of their programs. Is it the Unions or Divisions not cascading down the information to the conferences then to the churches? There should be some urgency, importance and accountability to ensure that the communication is disseminated .

      • Lorna Grace Okotto

        It’s true that these programs are not cascaded down properly. Other than the 10 days of prayer at the beginning of the year, very few in our local churches are aware and even fewer are following.

        • PNB

          Pray that this changes.

    • Mavhoro Tawona

      Amen and Amen. 2 Corinthians 1.19- 20

  • Cynthia

    Lord, please forgive me if I have made decisions on my own, forgive me for leaning on my own understanding. As I face the tests I am now enduring, please give me the courage and the strength I need at this time. Lord, I believe You can and will turn these circumstances around for Your glory. Teach me how to pray, Lord, and bless me with Your Holy Spirit of humility, direct my steps in Your way, in Jesus name, Amen.
    Please pray for the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in my home, to cleanse, to heal, and to save my household.

    Thank you for this testimony.

    • PNB

      I am praying with you. May God’s presence never leave your household. Continue to persevere in prayer and continue to demonstrate grace, love, humility and an unselfish spirit. We all need prayers four our households. – Peter Nigel

    • Bethune Davis

      My prayers are with you my sister.

    • Letty Kaltonga

      Amen and Amen sister Cynthia for the powerful testimony. God is so Good and Wonderful and He knows what is best for us even though sinful as we are with our short sighted vision, He will give what is appropriate to us…only if we apply 2 Chronicles 7:14.

    • Rosalia

      Amen Cynthia. We r with you & family in prayer

  • Roma Roberts

    This is a timely reminder and encouragement that God can be trusted. Thank God He is the same yesterday, today and forever. When God is on our side we are winners.
    Be encouraged! Have a great week.

  • DYTO

    Thank you much Cindy, The Lord will not gives anything that could cause us to lose our eternal salvation, He is too great to give us things that will become our idols.

    Have a great day in the Lord!

  • Viveen McLeary

    Amen. Thanks Cindy for sharing your testimony. It has strengthened my faith, trust and confidence in God. Putting Him first in everything we do and and trusting Him implicitly realizing that He knows what is best for us, guarantees success. Your prayer is mine too.

  • Gemma Moses

    Amen. Thank you for sharing your powerful testimony with us. My pray is that God will give me the strength I need to accept His No and His faith to trust Him for His promises. I need prayer for more faith and to God more.

    • cecily

      That is it, our faith is weak. We must pray for Christs’ faith to help us trust in Gods will, especially when He is saying “No” to us. When we depend on our own faith, His “No” will make us cry like the babies we are, even throw temper tantrums. Let us stop needing milk and eat the meat of scripture, accepting His direction no matter our preferences. God help me and His will be done.

  • KarenBG

    Thank you Cindy for being vulnerable in sharing such a personal, yet powerful testimony. Thanks for also sharing the three things you learned about prayer. There is so much we can learn about prayer and how to approach God. The biggest lesson I have learned and continue to learn is humility and submission to God in prayer— not my will, but your will be done Lord.

  • D.V.B.

    Sometimes its hard for me to know if the answer is no, or if I need to persevere in prayer. Help me Lord to know exactly what your will for us is; and beyond knowing to accepting your way as best. I don’t want to wring God’s hand, but I don’t want to give up too soon either, so how do I find balance?

    • Melodious Echo

      I agree! That is my struggle as well, not knowing whether it’s God’s will or whether perseverance is needed. Inspiration tells us, “There is no danger that the Lord will neglect the prayers of His people. The danger is that in temptation and trial they will become discouraged, and fail to persevere in prayer.” COL, 175. So, if I’m not praying something prohibited by Scripture, or for selfish desires, I just keep persevering and telling God, “If you have a better plan… please work out your plan in place of mine. But if this burden or wish that is on my heart is from you, please fulfill it in Your perfect time and way!”

      • cecily

        He knows our hearts, so if inside you are throwing a temper tantrum or reaching for it before He gives it to you, you may be following your own will. (This is being stated in a very human way and I hope I’m not misunderstood.) God gives us choices, and the best choice is to give them back to Him and say “Which one will serve You best, Lord?”. Usually He works the situation out for you after this. My experience is that He will take away the other options and narrow our path. Pray for me, I’ll pray for you.

  • MarshaH

    I am so encouraged and strengthened by the daily prayer and readings. God is so good to us and through this connection with Him and with the worldwide church my eye are opening to see God’ s leading in my life.

    • Rosalia


  • Bethune Davis

    This is directed to me this morning. I have been praying but no answer seem to be insight. This has rekindled hope and faith in me to trust God no matter what the answer is. Right now He is saying “wait”. Lord give me the patience to wait and trust You for all things.

  • Jaye_Ghee

    This came at a time when I need it most. I solicit your prayers on behalf of my family

  • Telisha

    Amen. Thank you for sharing. Indeed many times we pray “Thy will be done” only as a matter of formality, because in reality we push for our will to be fulfilled when we pray. GOD, being the loving father that He is, many times allows us to have the things, which He was withholding from us for good reason, only because of His love and our insistence. The sad thing is we bask in our own desires and the seeming fulfillment much to our detriment and at the Father’s expense. Lord, may our prayer be that you teach us how to wait upon You and allow Your will to be done in our lives.

  • Evelyn Walcott

    My Brothers and Sisters I’m truly greatful for the testimonies it is encouraging I have been praying for my husband to give his life to God for over twenty years and this Sabbath I asked God if I should stop praying it is so frustrating he comes to church every Sabbath but will not commit. Having read these testimonies I am going to redouble my prayer and ask the Lord to strengthen my faith. My husband is a loving person my greatest joy will be to see him give his life to God thanks for the encouraging words please help me pray

  • Wojtek Janiuk


  • Monique

    On the human side, it doesn’t always feel good when we go through a trial and it doesn’t end up the way we think it should. We not only have to fight with the Word but we also have to encourage ourselves in and with the Word. GOD is in control and His word says : “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.