Robert Griffith | 14 April 2024
Robert Griffith
14 April 2024

 

Luke 18:1  “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Answers to prayers that come slowly might be perplexing and annoying.  They can occasionally cause you to lose faith in God and question the efficacy of prayer. Does God hear me? Does He even care? Has He replied, “No”?

However, in our lives, God is frequently working in the most profound ways at these moments. We learn patience in prayer from delays.  Actually, Luke chapter 11 and chapter 18 contain two tales about the bold perseverance of prayer.  In each instance, the reason God allows a delay in answering our prayers becomes clearer to us.

It’s not as though God doesn’t care about us.  Frequently, it’s how He helps us get over our own insensitivity. Praying with unreserved tenacity alters our thoughts and hearts more than it affects His. We learn to lean more intensely on God during delays and to appreciate His work when He answers.  For this reason, Jesus tells us in Luke 11:9 that if we continue to ask, we will grant our requests.  You will find if you don’t give up searching.  If you keep knocking, the door will eventually open for you.

Jesus did not mean for His disciples to pray incessantly or for an agonisingly long time when He said that they should constantly pray and never give up.  Praying constantly is bringing our demands before God on a regular basis while maintaining an attitude of thankfulness and assurance that He hears us and will grant our petitions.

God may occasionally be testing our sincerity in wanting what we are asking for.  Are we truly broken and troubled, or is this merely a fleeting desire?  When our prayers are delayed, how soon will we stop praying?  When God takes His time to answer our prayers, it’s for a good purpose. Praying persistently is a great way to develop our faith, hope, and character.  It enables us to clearly assess our requirements and motivations.

Daniel 10 offers yet another explanation for the wait.  Daniel had not received any response after 21 days of fasting and prayer.  He didn’t know why there was a delay, but he didn’t give up, continuing to pray and believing that God was hearing him.  Daniel’s story teaches us that prayer replies could be obstructed by spiritual forces that are invisible to the human eye.  The problem of unknown evil forces at work is another thing that Job makes clear.  This is referred to in the Bible as a celestial conflict. The Apostle Paul put it best:

Ephesians 6:12   “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

Take heart if you’re facing a delay in your answers to prayer.  God is still at work in the delay – and just P.U.S.H. through!