Many brothers and sisters in the Lord have such confusion: “I also sincerely prayed to the Lord, but it seemed that the Lord did not listen to and answer my prayers.” We are often confused by this. How can this happen? Is the Lord not the One who listens to prayers? We do sincerely pray, why can’t we get the Lord’s response? Before we look for the reason, let us consider the following questions first: How do we want God to answer our prayers? Do we know how God answers our prayers? If we do not know how God answers our prayers, isn’t it easy to miss God’s answer?
The Lord once promised us: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Mat 7:7-8). The word of the Lord is faithful, and God is as good as His word and His word shall be accomplished, but how does God answer our prayers and knocking? As we open the Bible, it is not hard to see the ways God responds to our prayers are often beyond our imagination and break our notions. In the Old Testament age, the Israelis were exploited indefinitely by the Egyptians and lived a life as prisoners. In pain, the Israelis prayed to Jehovah God and asked Him to save them from Egyptian Pharaoh’s control. However, instead of saving the Israelis from Egypt in a moment as they imagined, Jehovah God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt.
Do you believe God really answers prayer? Really and truly… that God hears your personal prayers and cares enough to respond?
Your answer to those questions probably dictates if, when, where, and how you pray.
You know, prayer can serve many purposes, but generally speaking, it’s an intimate conversation with God. Prayer involves Him stirring our hearts, us communicating with Him, and then listening for how God may respond to us.
Habakkuk was grappling with something each of us deals with as believers: unanswered prayer. He was complaining about the silence of God… and in his heart he desperately wanted to know why God wasn’t answering his prayers.
I’m sure you’ve probably felt this way before. Anyone who’s been walking with the Lord for any amount of time has. We want answers when we pray! And it’s frustrating when it seems like God is silent.
If you’ve ever felt this way, or even feel this way today, I have a word of encouragement for you. God does answer prayer. But He does it in four different ways.
“No.” Sometimes the Lord says “No” when we pray. And while this can be a very difficult answer to receive, it’s still an answer…regardless if we understand His decision at the moment or not. God is able to reveal His strength in you and me when we are broken and weak. So there is a purpose when God says “No.”
“Yes.” There is true power in prayer. And when we pray in Jesus’ name, He may also say “Yes.” “Yes, I’ll forgive. Yes, I’ll heal. Yes, I’ll step in to help.”
“Wait.” Sometimes the toughest answer to receive from God is “Wait.” When this happens, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control and can certainly handle our situation. We need to allow Him to continue working in whatever way He sees fit. And we can’t try to take back the situation, but must truly be patient and wait on God’s timing!