Admittedly, the five words in this devotion’s title flow out of my mouth a lot. Sometimes I’m calm, other times I have tears running down my cheeks. There are even times when I’m furious at God because he has chosen not to answer me, or even offer a clue as to how he intends to resolve the issues on my heart. I sense I’m not alone here. Slow to answer prayer can be tortuous.
When gut wrenching problems arise in our lives, we desperately want God to listen to our prayers, and we covet his response. After all, God wants us to pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says this, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. “ (ESV)
Second admission on my part; I sometimes don’t find it easy to rejoice always, and pray without ceasing, especially when I crave an answer from the Lord and it doesn’t readily show up. And giving thanks in all of our circumstances? Well, even though it’s the will of God, my heart and soul occasionally wrestle to comply. Let’s face it; in a society where we demand instant answers and gratification, waiting on God is not as easy as it sounds. But that is exactly what we must learn to do.
When answers are slow to come, and we cry out, “Answer me, Lord, answer me,” we need to remember whom God is. His promises are unfailing and his ears are always inclined to hear our prayers. As I’ve learned, there are times when my prayers have not aligned with God’s will for my life, and if you’re like me, I would prefer that God conforms to my will and how I want things to play out. Thankfully, God reminds me of this, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 NIV)
Prayer is relatively easy. We open our mouths, and we pour out our souls to God. We can pray on our knees, in our cars, at the office, while walking the dog. God hears all, “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.” (Psalm 116:1 NIV) When asking for help in our afflictions, we want more than anything for God to answer without delay, and I truly understand the discouragement when God is slow to answer, or chooses a path for us that we failed to see coming.
Bottom line, never stop praying! Never stop believing that God hears every word from your mouth! You may not get an immediate response, and you may wonder if God even heard your request. But he hears every heartfelt word and plea for help. And in his perfect way and perfect timing, you will be answered.
No matter the distressing situations you may find yourself in, no matter the outflow of your heart, trust God and lean heavily on his promises. These five words “Answer me, Lord, answer me,” will generate results. I encourage you to pray always and then patiently await God’s reply.
It will come!