God answers our prayers but often in ways different or even contrary to our machinations. We do not have access to the secret will of His workings. We don’t know when His answer starts or finishes, where it winds its way, what things it carries in its wake. But we do know that God hears and acts when we pray.
And David said, “O LORD, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!” (2 Sam. 15:31, NKJV)
When my children would ask me for something, let’s say going out for ice cream, I would often say, “We’ll see.” They knew that meant “yes.” I knew that meant “yes.” But I was happy to keep my options open so they couldn’t hold me to it.
God’s answers to our prayers can be even more cryptic. He knows how He will answer our prayer but that does mean His answers are always apparent to us or that He answers in linear fashion. Often, God’s answers to our prayer are figured more by calculus than simple arithmetic. David’s prayer in 2 Samuel 15 gives us an example.
The setting is David’s fleeing from his son, Absalom. David had cast himself on the good pleasure of the Lord. If God decided to bring him back to his throne in Jerusalem, so be it. But if God decided not to, David would be content with the doing of God’s will (2 Sam. 15:25-26).