How many times do we feel the Lord has not heard our prayer? Do you believe that sometimes the Lord refuses to answer? Or maybe, after a time or two you just give up. Often the feeling is that if I don’t have an answer in my timeframe that I need to face facts – that the Lord has failed me. Truth is, the Lord has NEVER failed anyone. Not you or me, or anyone who has lived before us nor anyone who will be born after us. But we need to realize that His ways are not our ways. He sees way beyond the ‘now’ situation, and He gives an answer that is the very best for us.
In Genesis, Abraham learned that the Lord was bringing judgment to Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham begins interceding before the Lord. “Lord, if there are fifty righteous, will You spare them?” His answer was yes. But Abraham was not content, his heart reached out again and again in intercession. “Lord, will You spare for 45,… 40,… 30,… 20,…10?” With each cry, Abraham lowered the number. And with each reply the answer was yes. The Lord listened to the cry of Abraham’s heart. Yet just a short time, Abraham saw the smoke and knew the end result. The Lord answered yes but He could not even find 10 righteous men in those wicked towns.
Peter was imprisoned and Herod was not going to let him out. To ensure he did not escape, Peter was placed in chains, with two guards standing over him. Breaking out was humanly impossible. Yet we learn in Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. The godly men and women refused to give up. They interceded for Peter constantly. The answer came one dark night in the form of an angel. This ministering spirit released him from his chains and walked him right out the door. And absolutely no one saw a single thing.
God is God, He sees far beyond our limited vision. He understands in ways that are totally foreign to us. His desire is for the best in our life. Yet, too often, we fail to understand or believe that. When our son was severely injured in a wreck, the Lord ministered one question in particular to my aching heart and spirit. “Can you trust Me even in this?” My answer then and now is still the same. “Who else can I trust Lord?” People fail each other all the time, even at times when they don’t intend to. Even though the answer was not what we wanted, I still stand on His promises and know that He loves us and wants what is best for our life.
Prayer is our lifeline to the Lord. It is like calling long-distance but there are no cords or wires. The greatest thing is there are no charges, no fees, and no operators needed. You are able to call upon the Lord at any time. He never sleeps and always answers your call. He doesn’t use an answering machine and there is no need for a secretary. His answers are like a parent’s at times. It might be yes, no, maybe, not right now or it depends. We all love yes answers and hate nos. At times, we want to rush ahead and the Lord says ‘Not right now!” At other times, we might question why. But we need to develop a heart like Paul resting in His answers that “His grace is sufficient for us.”
Today, the Lord wants to hear your voice. Come before Him not only with your wants and needs, but first and foremost in thanksgiving. He is worthy of all your praise and worship. The Lord has proven His love to you and is worthy of your thanks. He will meet your needs. It might not be the way you want but it will be in His way and that will prove to be the best way possible. At times, like Abraham, you will need to intercede repeatedly for needs. Daniel prayed constantly for twenty-one days. Nehemiah prayed and fasted for days. Don’t give up. He is there and He is listening. Press in! Call out! Cry to the Living God!