8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
8 Concerning this thing
No one knows exactly what Paul’s thorn was.
I pleaded [implored] with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
Paul asked the Lord three times to relieve him of his thorn. He wanted to escape the inescapable.
Sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is “no.”
Prayer is not the attempt to twist the reluctant arm of God. Some people insist that God should answer their prayer. However, God may have a higher purpose by giving us a “no” answer to prayer. There will be times when God answers our prayer by a “no,” yet we still do not get the message. There are times when we should ease from praying about something if it becomes clear that it is the will of God for us not to receive it. We have been presumptuous about the will of God for us. There are times when God uses a thorn in our lives to make us acutely aware of our inadequacies and the need for God’s power to be active in our lives.
Our Lord appealed to the Father to deliver him from the suffering of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-44), yet He put Himself in the Father’s hands to do His will.