Each time we pray, we often expect an instant answer, especially when we are desperate. There are instances where we are in an emergency, and only divine intervention can bring us out.
At such moments, we bombard God with “hot” prayers. We want instant answers. Of course, God often answers instantly. He does.
While the church was praying for Peter, God gave an instant answer. He sent His angel and Peter was miraculously brought out of the prison (Acts 12:5-17). Elijah prayed that the fire might fall on the sacrifice and God sent fire immediately from heaven.
But we all can testify to other times when we pray, but we had no tangible answer. The heavens are shut completely against you. Everything looks hard and you wonder if God ever heard what you have said. The whole atmosphere looks blank and empty. You leave the place of prayer to grapple with the same problem that brought you to pray.
This reminds me of the case of Lazarus. The scripture tells us that as soon as he took ill, his sisters, Mary and Martha sent for Jesus. Jesus loved Lazarus.
Now, what would you expect from your friend who loves you when he hears that us you were sick? An instant response? That’s correct! Unfortunately, Jesus went in the opposite direction. Jesus never came to the rescue of Lazarus until he died. He did not even come at his death. He didn’t show up until after four days and Lazarus was the one whom He loved.The absence of physical evidence is not a token of unanswered prayer. Click To Tweet
From the human perspective, Jesus’ reaction to the news of Lazarus sickness was a betrayer of trust. I can imagine the hurt and the bitterness that Mary and Martha including Lazarus must have felt when they got no response from Jesus. How could Jesus have done such a thing in a very critical moment? We often say a friend in need is a friend indeed, but Jesus was not there when Lazarus was in need.
And how we have also felt let down by God when we pray and received no answer! There are times when we feel that God must have forgotten us. He could not have been treating us like trash if we are still on His mind.
There are people who have denied God because they felt that God has failed to answer their prayers. They could not fathom why a good God will fail to show up when they needed Him most.
First, we need to realize that the absence of physical evidence is not a token of unanswered prayer. God commits to every prayer we make in His name and according to His will. He answers all our prayers even when the answer did not come in the way we expect. He answers. Yes! He does.
“We live in the bold confidence that God hears our voices when we ask for things that fit His plan. And if we have no doubt that He hears our voices, we can be assured that He moves in response to our call” (1John 5:14-15 The Voice).
Our challenge, most of the time, is that we preoccupy ourselves with physical manifestations. God was right when He told Samuel that man looks at the outward appearance. We always want what can be touched, seen, tasted or felt.God commits to every prayer we make in His name and according to His will. He answers all our prayers even when the answer did not come in the way we expect. Click To Tweet
Unlike the Centurion in Matthew 8 who told Jesus not to come under his roof but speak a word and his servant will be healed, the nobleman in John 4 did not believe his son will be healed without the physical presence of Jesus. “He was fearful that unless Jesus would go with him to Capernaum, his son would have no hope.”
A word from Jesus was not enough. Jesus will have to do some physical activities. At this, Jesus said to him,
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
Jesus wanted him to realize that with or without physical activity, prayers are answered. He told him to go home because his son was healed. He discovered the healing occurred at the moment when Jesus spoke.With or without physical activity, prayers are answered. Click To Tweet
We often act like this nobleman. We always demand that God should come down or show up. But instead of a physical manifestation, God would simply give us a word or show a scripture to us. But we are not satisfied. We want an earthquake; something that will shake the place and in the process, we miss the move of God.God answers even when physical manifestations are absent. He is working even when we can't see what He is doing. He is committed to our success more than we do. Click To Tweet
Elijah saw the wind. The wind was so strong it tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, he saw an earthquake, but the Lord was not there. After the earthquake, there was the fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. Then, a still small voice and that was where the Lord was. Elijah had to wrap his face in his mantle.
God answers even when physical manifestations are absent. He is working even when we can’t see what He is doing. He is committed to our success more than we do. He is working everything out for our good.God has a bigger plan when I do not get an answer immediately. Click To Tweet
I am learning to trust His wisdom. I am learning to continue to believe Him; to know that God has a bigger plan when I do not get an answer immediately.
Above all, I have realized that the greatest benefit of prayer is not the reception of an answer, it is the change that happens within us. You cannot go to the place of prayer and remain the same.The greatest benefit of prayer is not the reception of an answer, it is the change that happens within us. You cannot go to the place of prayer and remain the same. Click To Tweet
Prayer brings an inward transformation. Prayer calms the internal struggles and strife. Prayer brings things to perspective. Prayer helps us to see our situation with the eye of God. Prayer helps us to see that the situation is not as bad as we have thought.
In prayer, we are broken. We exchange our sorrows for His joy, our shame for His fame; our ashes for His beauty. God takes off our spirit of heaviness and gives us a garment of praise. He reminds us of His promises. Our faces become radiant because we look to Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 tells us,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
We are not promised a particular answer, but He promises peace, the kind of peace that surpasses the human understanding.
And I have known this by experience. I don’t get an answer all the time but I always have peace. I went there worried but I came out feeling that all is well even though I do not understand how I will fix the situation.
There is that feeling of tranquility and serenity within that you cannot explain. There is confidence. You will come out feeling that God will make a way even though you don’t know how. You will realize that you are calm within. You can think more clearly and ideas flow effortlessly into your mind. There is clarity.
This is the greatest benefit of prayer.Those who pray worry less. You cannot be praying and be complaining. You cannot be praying and be anxious. Click To Tweet
I’ll close with this word from 2 Kings 3:17
“For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink” NIV.
I believe this is God’s word to you. I wouldn’t know what valley, space or gap you need the Lord to fill in your life. There is a vacuum that you desperately need Him to fill up. There is a need in your life now.Don’t wait for moves. His word is enough! Click To Tweet
God said, you may not see wind and you may not see rain. You will not see any physical move or manifestation, but He will fill that valley. God will do something, maybe not in your own way, but eventually, He will fill that valley in your finances, marriage, business career or spiritual life.
So, don’t wait for moves. His word is enough!
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