Victory belongs to those who refuse to give up. Even when it seems you do not have a prayer, pray. Be a saint that is: “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NKJV).
Too often, we pray in 911 mode, calling out to God with the most recent emergency we find ourselves in. Our expectation is that He will be a dutiful 911 operator, answering our call and quickly dispatching the help we need. Yet God is not bound to our timing, but we are to His.
There is always a purpose in how and when God answers your prayers. “As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me” (Micah 7:7 NLT).
There are some prayers I have spoken that are spread out over many years. I know people who have prayers that span decades. Sometimes we may think that no answer means no, and yet God is ever listening. Never give up in your prayers until God says no.
Until God says “no,” keep praying for a “yes.” Jesus taught us about persistent prayer in this parable, “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything just because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence and boldness he will get up and give him whatever he needs” (Luke 11:8 AMP).
We live in a day of instant gratification. We have our microwaves and fast-food drive-thru lanes and can barely wait a minute, let alone an hour. But God knows there is value in waiting, and there is growth potential for our faith that can come in no other way.
Restraint on earth is a superpower from heaven. “But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 AMP).
We have two choices when we wait after praying, to either wait patiently or to wait impatiently. It is often our impatience that extends the waiting as we have yet to grow in our trust in God. Patience is trusting God lived out in the life of a believer before the Lord.
Patience is more important than effort when doing kingdom work. “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient” (2 Timothy 2:24 NKJV).
Too often, we think that surely God would not let us suffer another minute. But in God’s wisdom, He may see the value in us suffering for many years. We need to pray patiently for the healing until it comes or until He says no, and trust Him with His answer and His timing.
We seek God the most in our troubles and then wonder why He allows them. “I will abandon my people until they have suffered enough for their sins and come looking for me. Perhaps in their suffering they will try to find me” (Hosea 5:15 GNT).
Sometimes we pray patiently, and we wait patiently, and still the Lord does not help us. Sometimes things will even get worse than it was when we began our praying. Be patient in your troubles, and you will be a blessing to others around you. Learn to suffer patiently and teach others how to do the same.
It’s in the hardest of times that God does the greatest work in the heart of a man or a woman. “Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (James 1:2-4 TLB).
Being patient in prayer does not mean being timid in all you’re asking for. God never says we cannot cry out to Him and instead wants us to trust Him with our feelings. We can be honest with God, but we must be reverent with Him in the process lest we treat Him in an unworthy manner.
Though God may be silent for a time, yet He still hears your every cry. “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears” (2 Samuel 22:7 NKJV).
Too often, we become habitual in a thing we are praying about. God has not answered a request we have made a thousand times, and so we don’t really expect Him to answer our next request. But faith demands we have expectations, and effective prayer demands that we have faith.
When you ask in faith, you will expect to receive, even if you have to wait for it. Jesus taught, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours” (Mark 11:24 NLT).
Whatever it is that you are praying for, don’t give up. Whatever request it is that God has yet to give you, keep asking for it. Whatever it is you are being impatient about in your praying, ask Him to help you to become patient. Stop trying to do on your own what you can’t do on your own.
Waiting patiently is the work required to increase one’s faith. “So Abraham received what God promised because he waited patiently for it” (Hebrews 6:15 NOG).
Blessings to you,