It amazes me that the God of the universe wants me to talk to Him. He draws me near and allows me to rest in His goodness, compassion, and mercy. It is during these intimate encounters that I sense God’s presence in my life the most. I approach my conversations with God trusting that He will answer my prayers…quickly! I love it when the answer is immediate and obvious. He gives me those moments to appreciate his sweet, swift Spirit. Naturally, I conclude that I was faithful to pray, God was faithful to answer, and I can faithfully move to my next request lickety-split.
I’ve heard stories where people petitioned God with the same request for extraordinarily long periods of time. So long, in fact, that they may have appeared foolish to those around them. I have often wondered if their groaning resembled the incessant buzzing of a bumblebee in God’s ears. Even in the Bible, there were individuals who undoubtedly grew weary of bowing and rising, bowing and rising, bowing and rising with the same prayer day after day. In I Samuel 1, Hannah expresses her deep longing for a child. She literally prayed for years with no results. Just when she had met her point of desperation, Hannah paused, pondered on the longing of her heart, and…prayed again. This woman truly cherished the promise “with God nothing is impossible.” Hannah obviously believed that her God could answer her prayer. Otherwise, she would have gone cold on the whole idea of prayer before she had the chance to see His glorious answer revealed.
For nearly a year, one prayer has echoed from my heart. Not a single day passes that I don’t speak to Him at depth about my desire. I consider the petition honorable. If He chose to answer my prayer, I believe I would grow as an individual and believer. Were God to answer the prayer, it would be uncomfortably life-changing for me. Maybe He knows I can’t handle that right now—maybe not ever. It could be that He is building perseverance and patience in me so that I might better recognize the beauty that comes from a “fervent, righteous prayer.” Could it be that God wants to bless me even more than I can imagine at precisely the perfect time in my life?
Recently, I had a conversation with a special friend about prayer. I asked, “How long is too long to pray for something?” His first reply was, “I don’t know.” I insisted that he give me an answer even if it might be wrong. After a brief wave of silence, his answer came as if from the heart of God. “No amount of time is too long…even if it takes a lifetime to be answered.” Luke 11:1-10 stirs me to pray with persistence and confidence. “For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” My friend’s reply may seem overwhelming and disheartening to some people. However, the words reminded me of the hope I have in my God. The hope that He always listens, always protects, and always answers. Even if the answer takes a lifetime…keep praying.
By Karen Pollock, Kentucky