Occasionally I will wear a wristband with the letters P U S H printed on it. The initials stand for 'Pray Until Something Happens'. However, this isn't meant to be a showy adornment to my wardrobe. I use it when I need a reminder that some problems in life take persistent prayer to overcome them; this then prompts me to further prayer.
Do you ever get exasperated because some prayers seem to take so long to get answered? Issues that perhaps you have been praying about for quite a while... months? Years?
Why God doesn't answer prayer straightaway? Does the Lord have issues with some of the things that you and I are praying for? Psalm 37:4 tells us ...
'Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart..'
That does not mean He will give you the best car, the nicest house in the street; lots of material things. That's not the way He works. He isn't concerned with such things. Instead, He wants you to 'delight' in Him, to spend time with Him in prayer and Bible study.
Prayer isn't an opportunity for you or I to give God a prayer 'shopping list' of needs and wants. Prayer isn’t a highly sophisticated magic trick, a supernatural means of achieving a fast track to success in life. It's somewhere where we are brought to humbly realise we cannot control the universe or bend it to our will. We cannot control the Almighty. There are no magic words, gestures, mental attitudes or verbal gymnastics that we can use to get the Lord to do what we want.
And yet, the Bible contains the marvellous news that God has promised to give you the desires of your heart... Psalm 37 continues ...
'Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.'(vs 5-7)
"Wait patiently for Him." I accept that God works things out according to His own perfect timing. I therefore need to trust God, have patience and not to worry. He loves to give us good things. However, sometimes God has to put the right people in the right place before He can deal with the request. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says...
'There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.'
So God's answer to your prayer may include a period of time before He reveals his response. In our House Fellowship we have been studying the book of Esther; the account reveals that it took quite a long time for God to get Esther into a position of influence for 'such a time' that He could use her to save her people.
I am encouraged to trust in God and allow Him time to work things out in my life. I need to make myself available to Him; allow Him to use me.
Try this: write down your prayers and keep it somewhere safe. Then, come back to it in six months time or a year's time; reflect on God's amazing provision for you, how far He has brought you in that period. God is faithful, trust Him. Trust His perfect timing.