Often, when I have prayed, I’ve seen God answer my prayer straight away, within minutes, hours or even a couple of days. But have you ever felt as though you have been praying for something for a very long time, even years, and although you know ‘in your heart of hearts’ that God answers prayer, you find yourself beginning to wonder is He ever going to answer THIS one?
I wrote the draft of this after waking up briefly in the middle of the night – in those moments before I fell asleep again, the words “I have heard your prayer”, softly filtered through the fogginess of half sleep and settled into my heart, comforting me like a warm blanket of peace.
The next morning when I woke up, those words were the first thing I thought of. I suddenly remembered them again yesterday morning in the early morning prayer meeting at our church, and, two years later, these comforting words that I know to be from the Lord, still have the power to flood my heart and soul with peace, strengthen me and spur me on.
There are several places in the Bible where people were told “your prayer has been heard“, or “I have heard your prayers”
I found encouragement in these two great accounts and I hope you will too:
Zechariah and Elizabeth. Luke 1:5-13
“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.”
They’d longed and prayed for a child. Now, here we find them “advanced in years” with their prayers seemingly still unanswered. I wonder did they feel, as Elizabeth approached and then passed, the age of childbearing “Well, that’s it. God is just not going to answer this one”. That would be the natural response wouldn’t it?
But then one day, unexpectedly, when Zechariah is carrying out his priestly duties, an angel appears:
“the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.” Luke 1:13
Does this mean Zechariah had been praying continually all this time? Even though he and his Elizabeth were both way past the age of childbearing? Had he not given up on his dream after all? Somehow I don’t think this is what the angel is saying. I believe the angel was referring to the prayers that Zechariah and Elizabeth had prayed long before.
But why did God wait so long to answer their prayer? I believe He waited until the situation was so impossible in the natural that Zechariah and Elizabeth, as well as anyone else looking on, for all time, would know that only God could have done this!
In her childbearing years Elizabeth had not been able to conceive and now she was considered too old to become pregnant. So for this to happen could only be a miracle!
Daniel 10:12 “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
Every time we pray, something happens in the spiritual realm. Sometimes battles rage because of our prayers.
Im reminded of this when I read on to the next few paragraphs in Daniel’s story.
I tend to forget sometimes about the spiritual real , and focus on the natural – on what my eyes can see.
It might seem, based on the physical, natural realm, that your prayer is not being answered – perhaps you’ve been praying for the salvation of a loved one for a long time? Does God want your loved one saved? Of course He does – but there’s someone else who most definitely does not! Sometimes the reason the answer to your heartfelt prayer seems not to be being answered is because of spiritual warfare, ‘behind the scenes’.
God had very definitely heard Daniel and had taken immediately action! He had dispatched a specific answer to Daniel’s prayers that. Little did Daniel know that while he prayed and waited for answer there was a such a battle raging in the spiritual realm!
This is one of the many reasons we are told to “pray without ceasing”, (1 Thessalonians 5:17) even if it seems to be days, weeks, months or sometimes years before we receive our answer.
God Hear and Keeps a Record of Our Prayers
Our prayers don’t ‘go away’ God hears them, and he treasures each one. He WILL answer, according to his perfect plan. We just need to know and trust that God hears and even keeps a record of our prayers.
Psalms 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
Be assured that God hears every single prayer, even the unspoken, silent “prayers of the heart”. He hears every sigh and sees every tear. He remembers a single prayer from ten, twenty, fifty years ago.
And He answers. In His time, not ours.
PS: Below is a necklace from my Etsy shop Miss Maisie’s Wee Shop, where I sell my handmade jewellery. To view item details or more shop items just click the link under the photo.