I recently received news that prayers I have been praying were answered. I was so excited! My prayers have been going up for this situation for years. Prayers of reconciliation and restoration, prayers of mercy, grace, forgiveness, repentance. Again and again, until they became like the breath I inhaled and exhaled.
I found myself shaking my head with wonder that my prayers were answered at all. As I sat reflecting, I realize I hadn’t expected God to answer these prayers. I actually expected them to be unanswered. In fact, I didn’t expect any response from Heaven at all, one way or another.
What kind of faith is that?
It is a sad truth, but there are many times I have prayed for something but I lacked the faith to believe God would answer my prayers. If I don’t have the faith to believe, how can I encourage others to believe that God will hear their prayers? I am reminded that my lack of faith is not going to surprise God. He will not be shocked and appalled that I am doubting the prayers I am praying. In fact, I sometimes wonder if He expects it.
When I keep praying for others or even myself, even if I am not sure that God will answer the prayers, I am growing my faith muscles. I am choosing to give God the things I cannot control and never will. I am choosing His way of doing things. His timing, His plans, His ways to approach the answer that will perfectly fit His ultimate plan for this lost world.
And just when I think those prayers have bounced off the ceiling and hit the floor, God shows up and shows off in the best way possible. He brings about healing, restoration, reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness that would never have existed if He had not been involved.
Some of you might be praying for a wayward child, spouse, friend, or parent. It may have been years since you started praying, but you continue to lift up to Heaven the broken-hearted and hurting in your life. Don’t despair, God’s timeline is not yours. He has not forgotten your prayers for the people you love. He loves them even more than you do. Whether it’s two years or twenty- keep praying. You are building your faith muscles.
On that day, when the prayer is answered —however it may be answered —and you wonder what you are supposed to do now, praise Him. For His faithfulness, His love, and His perfect timing. He is worthy.