“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
One thing we are all going to have to learn on this Christian journey is that we need to break through in prayer. Sometimes, our answers do not come as we would like them and we can get very discouraged and lose heart. The Bible does not say ask and your answers will always come right away. No, we must persevere and persist in prayer even when our answers do not come as soon as we would like sometimes.
An army, for example, that has an obstacle or barricade in front of it, such as a huge brick wall, doesn’t try to smash it once; and if it doesn’t come toppling down turn around and say, “Oh well, guess that’s not coming down.” No, they keep at it with whatever they need and don’t stop until that wall comes tumbling down. In prayer that’s exactly how we need to be. If we come up against a brick wall, we need to persevere until the wall comes tumbling down and press through until our answers come.
Sometimes, it may even seem that God has abandoned you because He is silent, but we have to remember that the Lord promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). However, we need to also remember to make sure that nothing is hindering our prayers. The Bible says in Isaiah 59:1-2,
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”
So, we also need to make sure that there is no known sin in our lives for which we have not repented. Think of prayer as your phone line to God. You don’t want anything to block the connection.
Here’s a question for you, do you really mean from the heart what you pray or do you, as Catherine Booth put it, pray from your throat?
My husband and I have four boys and if they need something, they will most definitely let us know. However, if I am busy doing work or whatever and they call for me or want my attention for some reason, I will not be so adamant about finding out what they need. However, when I hear screams from the other room and an adamant cry for me to come, they’re going to grab my attention a lot faster than when they are passive about what they need.
God must see that your desire is sincere. Remember, we don’t pray according to our will, we pray according to the Lord’s will. Sometimes, your answer might be “No” when you want it to be “Yes,” but we know that ALL things work together for good to those that love God and those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
I remember a little boy conveying to me a story one time about a girl who was praying for something and she received an answer that wasn’t what she was looking for, but this boy conveyed to me that “No” is still an answer. If your kids ask you for something and you tell them “No,” you answered them. Just because it wasn’t the answer they were looking for didn’t mean their answer didn’t come.
You see, you know what is best for your children, and in the same way, we have to trust that God knows what is best for us! He is looking out for us and will do the best thing for us. I can think of times in my life where doors shut on me that I am now grateful for because the Lord was sparing me without me even realizing it at the time. So keep that in mind too.
However, when we pray according to God’s will and He opens the doors accordingly, how blessed and thankful we are when our answers come. The Bible says in Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The last place that we need to faint in is our prayers and our actions (I John 3:18). Remember, we must also put feet to our prayers and not expect God to do for us what He has already given us the ability to do. We need to as William Booth once said, “Work as if everything depended upon work and pray as if everything depended upon prayer.”
There are things in my life right now for which I’m still waiting to receive answers that I have prayed for, for a long time. However, just like the Bible says in Hebrews 11:1, “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Just because I do not see it, does not mean it is not on its way. We must trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding and in all our ways we acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we hold God’s heart as His children, our prayers will be according to His will.
So, my friends, let us not grow weary in our prayers even if it takes a while before our answers come (Even if it’s been years). God is sure to hear your righteous cry. The Bible says in James 5:16, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Just make sure that nothing is hindering your connection, and God will come through every time, for He is ALWAYS faithful.