You have an unanswered prayer? What if God wants you to wait a little longer?

You have an unanswered prayer? What if God wants you to wait a little longer?

Luke 18:1

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Never Give Up

Jesus gave the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke chapter 18 and was trying to teach those who were listening to not ever give up but be persistent in praying, not because God doesn’t hear but that He may want us to wait. Maybe He just wants to see how earnestly we seek the need, how serious we are in knocking on heaven’s door, or maybe he just wants to teach us persistence. Persistence does pay off. One lady who was swimming across the English Channel years ago swam for hours and hours in a heavy fog but finally could not go any further, even though her coach kept insisting she’s almost made it. When the woman got into the boat, it was only a couple minutes later that she saw the shore. She had been only about half a mile away, and if she had known that, she said she would have kept going. The same principle applies to prayer. Don’t give up–the answer could be just ahead. God may want us to wait a bit longer, and if He does, He must have good reason.

Patient in Prayer

I remember a mother some years ago who told me to pray for her son, who was in prison. I asked how long she had been praying for him, and she said 17 years! Wow, I thought, and I am ready to give up praying for some things in a couple of days, to my shame. This godly and wise mother didn’t pray for her son to get out of prison.  Rather, she prayed that he might be saved. Year after year, nothing changed, but this mother never gave up. Talk about being patient in prayer! After 17 years of praying, her son finally wrote his mother and told her that he went to a Bible study class, and after studying John chapter six, he put his trust in Christ. Some of the verses that convinced him were the fact that Jesus would never turn anyone who came to Him away (John 6:37), that everyone who looks to the Son of God will receive eternal life (John 6:40), and that not one who puts their trust in Him will be lost (John 6:39). Was the man saved by a godly mother praying, the Spirit of God opening His mind to the Word of God, or both? I suspect it was both, but this godly mother was patient in prayer and never gave up, and her son finally trusted in Christ. That’s all that mattered to her.

When “Not Now” Is Best

Sometimes God wants us to wait for Him and His timing. Some of the best answers to prayer were delayed and brought an even greater blessing later. I remember some people being thankful for unanswered prayer or for prayers that were delayed because they found out later that it would not have turned out for their good. I am glad God can look down the corridors of time and know exactly when the time is best to answer our prayers. We don’t always know what’s best for us, let alone what we are seeking in prayer. Everyone has had unanswered prayers and delayed prayers. My question to you is this: What if God wants you to wait a little longer? Would you trust Him if He made you wait?

A Closing Prayer

Lord God my Father, please forgive me for the times when I was impatient in praying for something and it was not immediately answered. I look back on my life and now see how foolish my prayer requests were. So thank You for the unanswered and delayed prayers. Help me be more trusting in You and Your great wisdom. When I must wait, I can always trust You to know what is best for me and when. In Jesus’ name I thank you and pray.


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