Are there times when you wonder if your prayers will ever be answered? Have you honestly done everything you know to do? The delayed answer to prayer is one of the most common experiences shared by even the saintliest of God’s children.
Ministers and teachers who preach faith stir us to expect miracles and answers to all our prayers — and that is a good thing. We desperately need to be reminded of the power of faith but our faith should not be afraid to investigate Bible passages that deal with God’s delays, his seasons of silence, and even his sovereignty — when he acts without giving man an explanation.
We see in the Word that at times God did not answer a request, no matter how many time it was asked of him or how great the faith. For instance, Paul was not delivered from the challenge that buffeted him, though he prayed diligently for an answer. “I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me” (2 Corinthians 12:8).
Peter warned that faith should not stand alone when he said, “Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8). Faith without patience and virtue and self-control becomes self-centered and unbalanced.
Likewise, Paul prayed he wanted more than deliverance from his prickly thorn, more than success — he wanted Christ! Paul would rather suffer than try to overrule God and that is why he could shout, “I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me … For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
God wants to see the work of his grace completed in you as you seek more of him. He loves you more than you can imagine and nothing you endure can compare with the glory that awaits you!