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How to Wait for an Answer to Your Prayers

Be patient and persistent and trust God’s will.

Persistent prayer
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Not all prayers are answered in the way we hope, but still we continue to pray and trust that God will give us an answer one way or another. This is not always easy to accept, especially when praying for crucial issues such as healing for yourself and loved ones, a financial breakthrough, restoring a relationship or a new job. When issues such as these arise, we pray for a positive response to our request, yet it is His will that is the deciding factor.

Not only are we unable to decide how our prayers are answered, but when they are answered. Prayers call for patience and persistence. How and when our prayers are answered is out of our control. This is a challenge because our natural instinct is to be in control of our situations and circumstances. In prayer, we surrender our control and will to our loving and merciful God whose perspective, view and knowledge of the bigger picture are beyond our comprehension and capacity. As children of faith, we must surrender to the wisdom and guidance of God…a parent who wants what is best for His children. 

Tim Keller, author of the book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, wrote, “The final thought of every prayer must be for the help we need to accept thankfully from God’s hand whatever he sends in his wisdom. Our Father alone knows what is best; granting our request might, in many cases, be our destruction.” Keller goes on to explain that we must balance restful hope, submission to God’s will and confident hope, as we continue to pray forcefully, believing that God will answer our prayers. In addition, we must avoid asking God to bend His will to ours. It is this delicate balance that helps us continue to pray without discouragement and doubt.

When reading this book, I was reminded of the story of Abraham, who God promised would become the father of all nations. Although he and his wife, Sara, were older, and God’s promise took long to fulfill, the Scripture tell us, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” Prayer requires us to believe, be patient and pray frequently while trusting God’s will.

Lord, teach us to have a restful and confident hope in You. 

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