In my Bible reading tonight, I read the story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They refused to bow before the false god set up by the king. In Daniel 3:17, the men state that their Almighty God can deliver them from the fiery furnace. What awesome power God has! But it is verse 18 that really struck me tonight. It begins by saying, "But even if He does not..."
How often have I prayed for something with all my heart that has not and did not happen? Does that mean that God is not still to be praised? It is easy to praise and give thanks and be full of faith when everything is going well. But when things are not, that is another story. When it feels like my prayers go unanswered, it is easy to fall away and pout and "punish" God by withholding my praises.
These men had their lives at stake and we're praying for deliverance. But their undeniable, unquestioning faith lead them to be accepting of God's answer "even if He does not" deliver them. How dare I not pray the same. Even if the answer to my prayer is no, even if I am struggling and it is not taken from me, even if He does not, I will praise him.