Prayers and Answers
“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:23-24
There is something mystical, ethereal and otherworldly about prayer. We voice words and thoughts whispered in secret or aloud in the presence of others or shouted in moments of intense emotional stress or anxiety, and in faith we expect with hope that God, Who we cannot see with our physical eyes, will hear our prayers and respond to us favorably by some intervention in this very real, tangible, natural world.
When it is wisdom or revelation that we pray for, the answer often comes in the form of a thought or a word spoken in our hearing that clarifies, reveals or informs us and we have an "aha" moment. We get it!
There are answers that may come by way of sudden miraculous changes in the physical circumstances of our lives, healing, restorations, sudden rescue from danger, financial or other physical provisions, help with a task too great for us to bear alone, the restoration of a relationship that was strained or lost, a reversal of fortune or unexpected favor that resulted in promotion, advancement or increased profit.
Then there are answers that come with an act of kindness, a word of encouragement, an expression of affection, a warm embrace and a smile, an expression of gratitude or an "attaboy!" All of which lifts us up and strengthens us in ways mere "stuff" could never do.
Of course, there are answers that sometimes seem delayed or that we think will never come. Those who pray often will also over
time forget some of the prayers they prayed and are surprised when, long after they prayed, there comes the answer and they are reminded that GOD DOES NOT FORGET.
When answers don't come immediately when we call or when we don’t discern the answer when it does come, then it is time to keep on praying. It maybe that our answers are having to penetrate resistance in the supernatural realm as they pass from the presence of God to us, but they will not fail to reach us especially if we don’t lose heart and don’t give up.
There is the story of Daniel who prayed and waited 21 days to hear from the Lord.
“And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:11-14
Now, this is not to say that it takes 21 days for prayers to be answered, rather it is to let us know that sometimes we need to know there are forces set against us that though they cannot defeat us, they can cause delay. During such times we need to remain steadfast in our expectation and hope. Doing so, God will add to our strength whatever is necessary to see the fulfillment of our petitions. Patience is such a force that drives back the one who would delay our blessing and provision from Heaven.
“For ye haveneed of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Hebrews 10:36-39
We don’t draw back, we don’t give up and we don’t give in! Even if we have a momentary lapse and we entertain any of those thoughts, we quickly recover ourselves and stand firm in the faithful acknowledgment of the integrity of God’s Word and promises. He will not fail us!
“Father, Lord and God, thank You for answered prayer. Thank You for hearing our petitions, for looking beyond our faults and seeing our needs and meeting them exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. Lord, please look favorably on our friends and loved ones who are hurting and struggling now, especially those who are brothers and sister in Christ here at home and those who serve in missions and ministry throughout the world and in some of the most dangerous, threatening and destitute parts of the world. Please bless and encourage them today. Give them supernatural favor and pour out on them such provisions as they would have no lack of all that is necessary to do the work of ministry to the glory of Your great Name.
Thank you Father now for hearing my prayer and for answering this petition by Your grace, mercy and love. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, I pray. Amen and Amen.”