God’s Great Yes to Us

When one of my daughters comes home with a broken heart after being betrayed by a friend, I could give her a lecture, some life lesson about how she should have protected herself, or how pain is just part of life. I could do that. But most of us would agree that it would make me a pretty crummy dad. I’d be ignoring the pain she’s experiencing at that moment and only trying to find a solution—one she very well might not be ready to hear.

So what do I do instead? I listen. I sit with her. My girl has a broken heart, and I want to comfort her. We can talk about the life lesson later. Right now, she just needs her dad.

I wish more of us thought of God like that. When we come to him broken, in pain, and messy, far too many of us imagine him shaking his head, ready with a lecture. But Scripture seems to paint a very different picture. No matter our story, our Father radiates openness and love, willing to help us in our time of need. The Bible tells us that God collects two things—our tears and our prayers (Psalm 56:8; Revelation 5:8). It’s hard to imagine a gentler picture than that.

This is a difficult truth to accept if you (like the rest of us) have prayed for something you didn’t get. And I don’t mean those prayers you look back on and regret, or the ones you know aren’t that consequential—like praying your team wins the junior high basketball game or that Sally will go out with you. I mean real prayers, important prayers. Prayers for justice to be done. Prayers for healing. Prayers for salvation and help.

For years and years and years, the saints have prayed—for justice, for salvation, for help—and sometimes they felt like God was ignoring them, sitting idle. I know I’ve felt that.

But if my Bible is true, that feeling can’t get the last word. Whatever we, his children, say to him, God hears. He doesn’t ignore us or sweep aside our requests. He listens. He sits with us. Because he knows we need him, our heavenly Father. And every tear we’ve cried, every prayer we’ve uttered—God has them all, kept like precious jewels.


Pastor Tyler Staton says,

Every prayer [we’ve] ever whispered, from the simplest throwaway request to the most heartfelt cry, God has collected it like a grandmother who scrapbooks a toddler’s finger paints and scribbles. … God has treasured up every prayer we’ve ever uttered, even the ones we’ve forgotten, and he’s still weaving their fulfillment, bending history in the direction of a great yes to [us].

“Bending history in the direction of a great yes.” Does that sound outlandish to you? I know I struggle to believe it. But what else does Jesus’ second coming mean, if not the full restoration of justice and peace and salvation? What else are we hoping for, if not the fulfillment of God’s promises, here on earth as they are in heaven?

When God brings the final restoration to earth, Revelation 5 tells us that there is a golden bowl that has been holding our prayers. You see, God doesn’t just collect our prayers. He collects them for a purpose. And at some point, God will tip that bowl and rain down every prayer on earth, at last giving the redemption, healing, and justice we’ve craved our whole lives. We may not see it in our lifetime. But we will see it. Every prayer.

And this is just the beginning of the renewal of the heavens and earth.

God has not missed a single prayer we’ve prayed. Sometimes he delayed the answer—we called out for healing or justice or renewal and it didn’t come—but there is a moment in the future where God says yes to all of them. God will answer our pleas for justice and healing. He will make the world right again. He will make us right again.

In your dark hours, in your moments of uncertainty, remember: Every prayer of faith, in the end, is an answered prayer.