You ever reached a breaking point in your life? Where you realise that you can do nothing else by yourself? So, mid-tears, you get on your knees and you’re praying your most powerful prayer yet, sending up your requests surrounded by all the adjectives you think God wants to hear? Week and week goes by and you get no reply, no answer and essentially you feel like you’ve been left on read.
I think a lot of us have been in that place. Broken, confused and unsure of what to do next. Yet there’s a reason why we don’t always hear what we want, when we want.
Sometimes, we treat God like a blessing vending machine. You know, we send the prayers up and then we expect the blessings to come down, in say 3-5 business days. I’m sure most of us have learned by now that He doesn’t work like that, and more importantly praying without faith is dead (see James 1:6).
So why keep praying even when there’s no answer? Hopefully my reasons below can help.
1. Your Attention is More Focused
When we pray the same prayer over and over again, we may think we’re reminding God of our needs. However, we are really reminding ourselves that He is the source of our answers and our needs. Remember, God is our source, everything else is simply a resource.
If all our prayers were answered within the hour they were uttered, we would stop thinking about God as our source and see Him as a vending machine. If every time you prayed you instantly got the results you wanted, all you’d think about is the blessing. God wants you to think about the Blesser.
2. Your Faith is Tested
The only way you can grow to spiritual maturity is to have your faith tested, and sometimes this test comes in the form of unanswered prayers. As believers, our endurance will be tested time and time again, but James 1:3-4 says, “When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
It may seem harsh, or cruel or unfair that you aren’t getting the answers you want when you expect to but literally keep the faith and know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)
3. Your Heart is Prepared for the Answer
Sometimes we pray for things that we aren’t always ready to receive. We may pray for a new job, and God has a great opportunity lined up for you, but your lack of time keeping or attitude may be what’s stopping you from being in a position to receive such a blessing.
God never ever gives you more than what you can bear, but trust me when I say that He will always give you double what you asked for. In fact He can do more than you could even begin to imagine (see Ephesians 3:20).
It’s in these delays where God prepares you for the blessing He has in store. He helps you to grow, to get ready and prepares you for a bigger and better answer.
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I know how reassuring these points were to me, so I can only hope they are calming to you too.
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“The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.”