A Delayed Answer to Prayer

thanksgiving
Prayers Bouncing off the Ceiling

I recently experienced a time when I felt like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. It felt as if God was not listening to my heartfelt cries. For five eternally long months, I experienced a depression so deep it clung to me like it was a heavy winter coat. I wanted to get rid of the dark cloud hovering over me so desperately and go back to the demeanor I was before the depression took over my life.

Every day, I would pray that God would pull me out of the muck and mire to set me once again on stable ground. Day after day would go by and nothing. I would wake up each day to a cloak of blackness so thick that it almost suffocated me.

God had other Plans for Me

God had other plans for me, though. God could have revealed that it was a change in medication that spiraled me down into the pit sooner than He did, but He had a better idea. I needed to learn a major lesson on His grace through His delayed answer to my prayers.

Prayers for Lazarus

Prayers were delayed for another family who was dear to Jesus in order that their suffering would result in a greater outcome than they expected. When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother, Lazarus was sick, they no doubt expected Him to come quickly to help. Jesus instead, delayed His trip to Bethany until four days after the funeral service of His beloved friend. Jesus had a much better idea. His plan did not just involve healing Lazarus, He wanted to raise Lazarus from the dead (John Chapter 11). In the end, Martha’s faith was deepened (John 11:22) and God was glorified (John 11:40-42).

Microwave Prayer

Sometimes when we ask God for something in a prayer, we are like Mary and Martha and expect a response right away. I know I do. We do not see our world from God’s perspective. Remember the song, “He’s got the whole world in His Hands”? He is in control of everything at the same time. Everything has to happen in God’s timing. The Creator of the universe is not bound by our man-made time zones. With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day (2 Peter 3:8). Our prayer may or may not be answered when we want it to be answered. I just spent over 150 days praying in a dark cave of bipolar depression for some much needed light. In the end, that was God’s perfect timing for me to learn about grace (and that was a very BIG lesson I needed to learn).

You will get an Answer

When you pray to ask your Heavenly Father for something, realize that He has the ultimate say in the outcome of the situation. He will give an answer. It could be “yes”, “no” or “not now, wait awhile”. You will have to learn to trust Him that He knows what is best for you and your request.