What I love about God's salvation is that He gives us access to the throne of Grace through Jesus Christ, who sits at His right hand as our advocate. We have a precious freedom and grace to come before Him, to ask, to seek, and to knock. We have a right to pray expectantly, fervently, and hopefully that our prayers will be answered favorably (And He hears each one!). But what if your prayers weren't answered, in the way you hope? Many of us pray about a great many things, about elections, or health issues, marriages, kids, or a variety of troubles and worries, cares and triumphs. What if you don't get the answer you seek? Will it change the way you look at God? Consider, if you will, the circumstance and then the prayer of the Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego:
Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:13-18
Their prayer, before the King, and especially God "God is able to rescue us from your punishment, o King, but if not, we will still bow before no one but Him." How many of us could have such boldness, and still be prepared to hear "No...you must face the trials, tribulations, and punishments." Prophets and Martyrs alike have not received rescue in times of distress, but chose, instead, to give their bodies over to God, rather than be silent, and serve other powers. Great distresses have given God glory as true believers give all in the name of Christ Jesus. When faced with impossible odds, do you call upon the Lord confidently, crying out alongside Paul "for me to live is Christ, and to die is Gain?" Pray, earnestly and intently for good outcomes, yet trust in the Lord that He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, even situations we may not like or understand, and even those that break our hearts completely.
Romans 8:26-28- Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.