Prayer changes things. You have probably seen amazing answers to prayer in your own life. But, what happens when the answer doesn’t come as quickly as we would like? What do we do then? Let’s talk about it.
It’s easy to pray a quick prayer and see an answer. It’s not too hard to pray for a couple days and see measurable results. But when the praying extends for months and the requests are still outstanding, we get tired, or downright exhausted.
“What do I pray now?”
“Am I even being heard?”
I think we also go from simple prayers and comfortable phrases to searching Scripture for what He actually promises. Then the real praying begins, with heartcries, sobs, and desperation. At our most desperate, we may just resort to, “YHVH, help us,” and hope the Spirit fills in the blanks. We have to keep trusting that He did not abandon us. We need His strength, not for just the big things anymore, but to just put one foot in front of the other.
Praying long term is hard, but the power in prayer has not changed.
We have simply come to the end of ourselves, and must recognize that it was never us who accomplished anything. It’s all Him. We are asked to ask, but the power is not in us, or even in the abundance or eloquence of our prayers. He is the One who works everything out in His perfect timing.
We are deserving of nothing good, but He still chooses to shower us with good gifts. He hears all our requests. He acts on our behalf even when we don’t see it. He still cares even when others have long since forgotten our plight.
YHVH, please give us the strength today to continue coming before You with our prayers. You still want to hear from us.
We must not interpret delays in prayer for denial. God’s long-dated bills will be punctually honored. We must not allow Satan to shake our confidence in the God of truth by pointing to our unanswered prayers. We are dealing with One whose years are without end, to whom one day is as a thousand years. Far be it from us to count Him slack by measuring His doings by the standard of our little hour. Unanswered petitions are not unheard. God keeps a file for our prayers, which are not blown away by the wind but are treasured in the King’s archives. There is a registry in the court of heaven wherein every prayer is recorded. O tried believer, your sighs and tears are not fruitless. God has a tear bottle in which the costly drops of sacred grief are put away and a book in which your holy groanings are numbered. By and by your suit shall prevail. Can you not be content to wait a little? Will not your Lord’s time be better than your time? By and by He will appear to your soul’s joy, causing you to put away your sackcloth and ashes of long waiting and placing on you the scarlet and fine linen of full fruition.Charles Spurgeon “The Power of Prayer in a Believer’s Life” page 79
What should I do when my prayers go unanswered?
- Praise YHVH for who He is.
When you aren’t sure what to pray, just praise Yah for all His amazing qualities. You may even want to write a list of all the words that describe His character. I also recommend the book, “In His Image” by Jen Wilkin.
- Pray for others.
When you are struggling with your own long-standing prayers, the best thing you can do is pray for someone else. It’s amazing how our perspective changes when we look outside ourselves and look to the needs of others.
- Obey Him in all you already know to do.
I love the song “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller. When we are waiting, we need to keep obeying Yah. He hasn’t changed, and His Torah hasn’t changed. We need to keep following, rather than giving place to doubt.
- Keep a prayer journal.
I started writing prayers and Scripture in a simple blank journal, and before I knew it, this little journal had become a personal resource of truth, and an album of Yah’s faithfulness. The verses I copied became so familiar to me that I would turn to certain verses and just know that those were the verses to pray over today. I encourage you to start your own prayer journal. Fill it with verses, quotes, prayer request lists and answers, and your own prayers.
- Memorize Scripture.
Here are some verses to get you started: Psalm 50:15, Psalm 62:8-9, Isaiah 55:6, Matthew 7:7-11, Matthew 26:41. I Thessalonians 5:16-18, Hebrews 4:16, James 4:8, Colossians 4:2, Jeremiah 33:3
- Praise YHVH for who He is again.
No matter what, Yah doesn’t change, and His promises don’t change. He is the One Person that we can always count on. Praise Him when life is good, and praise Him when life is miserable. He is neither late, nor early. Though it is so hard to do, we are asked to trust Him, and there is no one more worthy of our trust.
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