I called him but he did not answer. (Song of Songs 5:6)
The words of a worship/scripture chorus we used to always sing with our students states: “Keep on praying – in the Spirit; Ephesians 6:18 says, ‘keep on praying….” Not seeing immediate, tangible answers to our prayers in no way means that God isn’t listening, or that He simply doesn’t care. He loves you. His answer, as well as His timing, is perfect.
Former missionary, L.B. Cowman’s devotional book, Streams in the Desert, is a breath of literary fresh air. One entry I read on this topic of prayer so impacted me I felt impressed to pass it along to you. Here is an excerpt:
Once the Lord has given us great faith, He has been known to test it with long delays…..Believers have knocked at the heavenly gate, but it has remained immovable, as though its hinges had rusted. And like Jeremiah, they have cried, “You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through.” (Lamentations 3:44)
True saints of God have endured lengthy times of patient waiting with no reply, not because their prayers were prayed without intensity, nor because God did not accept their pleas. They were required to wait because it pleased Him who is sovereign and who gives “according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
No prayer is ever lost, or any prayer ever breathed in vain. There is no such thing as prayer unanswered or unnoticed by God, and some things we see as refusals or denials are simply delays.
Christ sometimes delays His help so He may test our faith and energize our prayers. Our boat may be tossed by the waves while He continues to sleep, but He will awake before it sinks. (See: Matthew 8:23-27) He sleeps but He never oversleeps, for He is never too late.
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick