When the answer is "No"

Elder Arlene Coleman

Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour
has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You,  2  even as You gave Him
authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal
life.  3  This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom You have sent.  4  I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which
You have given Me to do.  5  Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory
which I had with You before the world was
. John 17:1-5

Ever interceded on someone’s behalf and believed God with every fiber of your being? Yet,
when the answer finally came, it wasn’t the outcome you’d expected?

What does it mean to intercede? It means to ask on someone’s behalf; to plea a case; to act as
a mediator; or to stand in the gap. Jesus is the great intercessor; our mediator between God
and man (1 Timothy 2:5). Just as Jesus interceded on the behalf of His disciples, today He
intercedes for you and I as believers and we should do likewise.

It was a beautiful ordinary spring morning in May 1999. The kids were heading off to school and
my baby sister, Tee Tee, and I were heading to work. About mid-day, I saw my sister in the
vending area getting a snack. She mentioned to me she had a headache. Little did I know our
lives were about to change forever.

Several days passed and my sister’s headache persisted. Finally, on the fourth day, I took her
to a doctor who was unable to diagnose her condition. Immediately, I drove her to a nearby
hospital and she was admitted for tests. Her health began to rapidly decline before my eyes.
Family and friends were called to intercede on the behalf of my sister. Our church family, in
Tulsa, OK at that time, was also interceding for God to work a miracle in her body. What began
as a simple headache turned critical and my sister passed away. We found comfort knowing
she was with the Lord.

Yes, I interceded for my sister to be healed in Jesus’ name. I trusted God and placed her in His
care because He loved her. (1 Peter 5:7). However, the answer was not as I expected. I once
recall Dr. Oral Roberts, a great evangelist, saying, “God knew something about the situation I
didn’t know,” when he received word that his daughter and son-in-law had died in a plane crash.

While we certainly want our prayers answered as we desire, rest assured God knows something
about the situation we don’t know (Isaiah 55:9). God doesn’t make any mistakes.
God is faithful. When was the last time you interceded on the behalf of someone? Have you
ever interceded in prayer for someone and the answer was “no.” Take time during the fast to
earnestly pray and intercede for someone else.