7 Reasons Why God Doesn’t Say “Yes” When You Ask

Blonde woman wondering why God said no

How often does God give you what you ask for? I don’t have all the answers, but I know that coincidences don’t exist and that it’s possible to improve the odds of getting a “Yes” when you ask God for something.

On the walking trail this morning I mentioned something I would like and God delivered it in less than five seconds. After I share that, I’ll offer 7 reasons why you don’t get what you ask for and ways to turn (what feels like) rejection into blessing.

Finally, I’ll connect the dots on how this applies to every request you make: to God, a person, or a horse.


God Dots are markers of God’s presence in your life, forming a permanent record you can connect backwards and forward. Connecting your Dots reveals God’s unique vision and purpose for you. 


The coolness of early autumn in north Texas and the verdant aftermath of two huge rain events were unexpected blessings. I took notice, offered praise, and delighted in the shade produced by still-lush trees, enthusiastic bird song, and precious time alone with God under a limitless heaven. 

The Holy Spirit is a superpower available to every New Creation in Christ. On the walking trail each morning I concentrate on being present, tuning my spiritual receiver to hear from the Lord—to recognize and tap into that power. 

Today, the thought popped into my mind that I hadn’t seen a deer for several weeks. I kept walking, but said aloud, “Lord, I would love to see a deer.”


Since I asked, I scanned the woods on my left. There, in perfect profile, backlit by filtered sunlight, a magnificent buck stood grazing. He lifted his head, looked directly at me, and I told him that he was gorgeous.

If I’d continued walking, eyes looking straight ahead, I would have missed the gift—the God Dot—the Yes.

Gift received! I thanked the Lord and walked on. The Holy Spirit heard me say I’d like to see a deer and less than five seconds later there he was. Delighted with this God Dot, I began thinking about the difference between God delivering and withholding. 

Which is another God Dot.


Mondays are “write article” days and I prayed a few minutes earlier for guidance on this week’s message. Like the stunning buck, God delivered. Popping my iPhone out of my back pocket, I began dictating thoughts, notes, and observations about the deer experience. 

Quoted from the playback:

“More deer! Hi, guys, how are ya? Y’all—just a sec.
I was talking about transaction and then I look to my right—and there are two more deer—just off the trail. Wow, almost as close as Mama was the first time we met. It’s a doe and her fawn, and the fawn is big enough that his tail is as big as his mother’s and his spots are completely gone. “



Looking to my right at that precise moment wasn’t a coincidence. I had time to introduce myself to the deer and pray that God would let them know I presented no danger. The three of us chatted a bit, the fawn flagging his huge white tail up and down, and then they moved peacefully into the woods. 

Returning to my dictation, I outlined the points of this article, listing the reasons why folks ask but don’t receive from the Lord. 

For more than ten years I wrote draft articles in advance. The more I learn how to ask and receive, the less I frame weekly messages in advance because God provides. 


  1. You don’t expect God to hear and respond.
  2. You don’t walk with God—literally.
  3. You fail to ask.
  4. You don’t look and listen for God Dots. 
  5. You don’t believe God can or will provide.
  6. You ask, then immediately discount the possibility of getting a yes.
  7. Your request is transactional.


God provided deer in abundance within seconds even though I didn’t make a direct request. My comment was in the moment, made to a dear Companion with the power to respond.

My antenna is tuned to recognize God Dots because I am developing the habit of looking, listening, and expecting God to show Himself in the common places of life. With practice, the habit becomes stronger and the Holy Spirit reveals Himself everywhere.

Faith in the power and love of God isn’t blind, but something proven many times over. Confidence in Christ and the faithfulness of His promises produce the certain knowledge that God is both willing and able to provide.


When I spoke my desire to see deer this morning I didn’t expect God to act, but I knew He could. 

The potential for blessing, for a huge God Dot, is destroyed when you ask, then immediately think, “Oh, that’s never gonna happen. Get real.”

That’s not getting real, but either disbelief or a bad habit introduced by another spirit that wants to keep as much distance as possible between the Holy Spirit and you.

God wants you up close and personal. Believing, looking, listening, and expecting Him to step into your life in tangible ways. 


The last reason you may not get what you ask for is the way you frame the question. 

Lord, if you will do this, I will do __________________.”

That’s an offer to barter; it’s transactional. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make deals. He’s all about relationship: loving, supporting, communing, and giving great gifts because He can.

Ask with the simple faith of a child. 


The barriers to “Yes” with God apply to other relationships. For example, if you ask your horse for a maneuver or response, expect a positive result. You’ve done the work of building relationship and creating the ability for your horse to say “yes.” Give him space to shine.

But, if you’re striking out, scroll up and review the 7 reasons you don’t get what you ask for.

Expect to receive an answer, invest time “walking with” the other person or critter, and remember to actually ask. Be aware when you’re asking and when you’re trying to make a deal or offer a bribe to get what you want—that’s a shortcut to relationship failure.

Believe in the goodness of the other, in their ability, and in their regard for you. When you ask, wait. Don’t take your ask off the table (which can be insulting!) by adding, “Oh, I know you probably won’t do this.”


  • Believe
  • Trust
  • Create space to receive.
  • If you get a no, refine your ask.


The end of the trail was around the next bend, home was minutes away, so I reviewed the delights of my walk with the Lord. Gratitude. Confirmation. Abundance.

And I saw three more deer. And they saw me. No fear. 


Join The God Dot Private Facebook Group

God Dots are the markers God leaves to let you know that He’s there, that He cares, and that you are never alone. Discover how to see more dots, collect them, and share them to connect where you’ve been,  where you are today, and where God may take you from here.

God Dots reveal God’s unique vision and purpose for you!

Related post: Leadership, Horsemanship, Discipleship

Another related post: Chasing Tribulation, or How I Got Bucked Off My Treadmill

Why do you believe what you believe?

Rapture and Revelation is an engaging and timely challenge to Christians in this End Time. The book won’t tell you what to believe, but will put you on the hook to honestly consider why you believe as you do.

rapture and revelation book cover lynn baber
Picture of Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn is a best-selling author, retired World and National Champion horse breeder and trainer, former business consultant, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She continues to equip and encourage Christ-followers to enjoy lives of bold, border-free faith.

Picture of Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber

Lynn Baber is a best-selling author, retired World and National Champion horse breeder and trainer, former business consultant, motivational speaker, and serial entrepreneur. She continues to equip and encourage Christ-followers to enjoy lives of bold, border-free faith.

6 Responses

  1. Absolutely DOT-ON for me! I so needed this outline for a specific prayer request!

    I glean does much value from your writings Lynn. Holy Spirit infusion.

    God’s blessings

  2. Love this timely article. Spoke to me and have me a lot of encouragement. Thank you.


    1. Thank you, Anne, for taking the time to drop in a response. We’re here to encourage one another. Be greatly blessed today!

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