Christians offer up many prayers to our Heavenly Father. I believe all prayers are answered but not necessarily in the timing we want or the way we intended for God to act on our behalf or for others. We look at matters with a finite mind, we do not see the big picture as God's plan unfolds. My friend Norma went to her heavenly home almost 2 1/2 years ago, but in my mind, I can hear her say, "God answers yes, no, or wait."
Wait - that can be a problem with our western mindset - we want answers now, faster than the blink of an eye in this TV on Demand world. Sometimes we lift a person or issue up to God for years, we are like the persistent widow, we keep praying in faith. We stand in the gap, we are watchmen on the wall.
My friend's mother prayed for over 25 years for her husband to come into the Kingdom, he had no idea she prayed for his Salvation. When I was 19 or so, he woke up one day, confessed Christ as his Savior, called the church and scheduled his baptism. He has served the Lord ever since and is still going strong at 82. Persistence was the key.
I still pray for people and issues I've lifted up in prayer for 5 years, for 10 years, for 15 years. I wait patiently at times and impatiently at others. I've climbed on God's throne and told Him how to answer and when. As if He needed my advice. When I realize I am praying my will in Jesus' Name by telling Him how and when, I repent, and get back to praying in faith.
This week, I've received quick answers to prayer. In January, I prayed for a relationship to grow between myself and young members of my family if it is the Lord's will. Due to a family situation, I did not get to know them as children Now through Facebook, I am getting to know them. Later in January, I asked the Lord if it His will to arrange for me to mentor a young lady. With my caretaking responsibilities, there is not much spare time, but He knows that. A couple of weeks ago, I began lifting a friend up in prayer because a sizeable mass was discovered in her liver. She could feel something swollen and thought it was her gallbladder.
Over the last 3 weeks, I've received emails from one of the young family members, our relationship is growing leaps and bounds through helping her with Bible Study and I am mentoring her, the mass in my friend's liver is shrinking and yesterday was discovered to be benign. Due to the size and location, it may have to be removed. We are praying for it to disappear.
Quick answers, of course, are my favorite, but I will not give up on the prayers I've prayed for great lengths of time and neither should you.
Jesus tells us in Luke 18:
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Paul tells us in Thessalonians 5:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
He also tells us in Philippians 4:
The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Keep praying ladies, God is faithful!