What should we do to receive answers to our prayers? We must pray at all times and must not give up in the middle or lose heart even when the answer seems slow to come. Some prayer titles are answered immediately, but others come after quite a long time.
In Luke chapter 18 the Parable of the Persistent Widow appears. It shows that even the judge who was immoral, succumbed to the poor widow’s wish when she kept going to him begging with her request. If an immoral judge listened to the plea of a widow, why would the God who wants to give us good things not answer when His children call out to Him?
1. An immoral judge listened to a widow’s plea
In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him and begged, “Give me legal protection from my opponent”. He might have considered it if the widow had been rich and given a bribe to him, but she was just a poor widow. He ignored her request. However, the widow kept going to him and begged him constantly.
This corrupt judge thought at first that she would stop coming after several requests, but she persistently came to him and bothered him. Then, the judge said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’ In the end, he gave her legal protection to her.
In the parable Jesus concluded how could the God of love not answer His children’s prayer when even the immoral judge complied with the widow’s wish! He said in Luke 18:7-8, “Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
Have you not received answers though you prayed ardently? Or, does it appear slow for the answer to come? You must trust and wait patiently for the God who will surely give you answers. Jesus enlightened us on the importance of persistent prayer through this parable of the unrighteous judge and the widow.
2. The reason why we must pray always without losing heart
God surely answers whatever we ask. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Mark 11:24 also says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Yet, why do so many people say they are without His answers even though they pray?
One of the reasons is because of a wall standing in their way to God. Thus, in order to receive answers from God, we need to break the walls of sin above all and show deeds of faith that please God.
1 John 3:21-22 states, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” Just as recorded, we must have nothing by which we can be condemned to receive answers from God.
By living according to the Word of God we can receive answers. Just as we want to fulfill wishes of our beloved ones no matter what, we also should keep God’s commandments with such love. We must not think the commands are burdensome or something hard to keep. Even if it takes more time to receive an answer than expected, we must not lose heart either. This is because we believe that God will surely answer our prayer.
Another reason why you haven’t received an answer though you prayed is that you have not prayed enough. You need to accumulate more prayer and wait for the proper time for the answer. In some cases people pray not in faith, but with doubt, so they are not able to get answers.
James 1:6-7 reads, “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.” What we should be aware of is that answer can be given to those who have firm assurance and unchanging faith in the answer.
If you doubt thinking ‘Will it really be answered? Is God listening to my prayer?’ it is not prayer with faith. The key to receiving answers is that you must pray with trust in God who answers your prayer although the fruit of your prayer is not revealed for the present. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
3. In due time you will reap
Galatians 6:9 reads, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” It is the same with prayer. When we pray always according to God’s will without giving up, the proper time will come and we will reap a harvest. If a farmer grows impatient soon after planting a seed and digs up the seed from the ground to see if it has sprouted, he wouldn’t reap a harvest. Until we receive answers to our prayer, dedication and perseverance are necessary.
When Prophet Daniel saw a vision regarding the future of Israel, he mourned and prayed for 21 days. In order to understand the vision, Daniel decided to humble himself as he did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter his mouth, nor did he use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. God heard Daniel’s prayer the first day and sent an angel to deliver God’s answer. However, as the prince of the power of the air resisted the angel for twenty-one days, the angel could come to Daniel only on the last day, and only then did Daniel receive the answer (Daniel 10:12-14).
Daniel didn’t give up till the end and pressed on in prayer, and in the end he received God’s answer. When we pray in faith and with patience God will send the one who can help us. An angel who came to Daniel with the answer said to Daniel as written in Daniel 10:13-14, “Then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.”
What kind of prayer do you offer up? Do you give prayer that can arrive at God? Daniel prayed earnestly with his heart, mind, and full dedication to understand the vision God had shown him. God heard Daniel’s prayer and answered the prophet the first day (Daniel 10:11-12). But it took 21 days for His answers to reach Daniel.
Many people, upon facing a serious problem, try praying for a day or two and are quick to give up. Such practice attests to the little faith that they have. Nobody knows when God’s answer will come. Thus, I hope you will be patient with belief that God listens to your prayer and gives answers for sure.
God gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, and sets the time of harvest just as read in Jeremiah 5:24, “Let us now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
For Daniel believed in God who would answer his prayer, he persevered and did not take a break from praying until he received God’s answer. If anyone has given up praying because he has not yet received God’s answer, he must not think that he has faith. If we have faith we should believe that we have a God who answers our prayer. This is because God repays us according to what we have sown and how we’ve acted without failing.
James 5:7-8 reads, “꿚he farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” As said, I hope you will pray to God patiently with faith, bear fruit all the time, and lead a blessed life of receiving answers.