No two diamonds can ever be the same because of their color, cut, imperfections, and complex characteristics. Each is unique in size, weight, and sparkle. And just like diamonds, no two prayers are ever the same. Each person praying is unique in their being, and each instance of prayer includes different circumstances and individuals with unlimited problems and requests.
As Christian adults, we experience how prayer works from our time spent studying God’s Word, and, from years actually participating in a daily prayer pattern. Christian adults also know prayer may sometimes happen fast, but often God chooses to use prayer as a way to grow our faith.
So how does God grow us when we come to Him with our requests? The answer has many facets.
Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
There is no set length of time as to when God answers prayers. Often, while we wait for our request to be answered, God is growing our character. It is during this wait that our personal strength—which perhaps we believed to be weak or even lost—may be renewed and strengthened to our benefit.
I recently heard a story from a young woman of God who was given a hand written letter from someone. The women wasn’t expecting the letter, but the writer indicated he was inclined to write down some information specifically for and about her.
The woman thanked the writer, then accepted and read the letter. At that point in her life, she said the letter had no true meaning to her but she decided to keep it and she tucked it away. Fast forward five years. While going through a difficult time in her life, she “happened” to come across the letter. She said from the second sentence on, she felt the letter was personally about her situation she was currently trying to work through.
In fact the letter was a perfect response to prayer she had been offering to God, asking Him for help through difficult circumstances she was going through at the time. She had been waiting in current time to hear from God as she prayed for her problem, yet God had responded to her problem five years prior and she didn’t know it until she reread the found letter.
For that particular prayer, God had His answer ready and waiting to be found and accepted by the young woman. And she said that wonderful letter was just what she needed to read. But that type of creative response from God to our prayers isn’t always the norm.
For me, I waited seven years for a particular prayer to be answered by God. God actually tells us in His word to be persist in prayers, and for my specific request, I certainly was.
Luke 11:9-10 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
My husband and I wanted children but each month came and went without a positive result. Years went by. Then I did get pregnant, but only to have a miscarriage. Finally after seven years that included many tests and infertility drugs, prayers and tears, our Joy was born.
The positive result was definitely not quick, but it was well worth the wait. And just like the young Christian woman who received the letter, my wonderful Joy was exactly what I wanted.
However, thankfully, God does not always make us wait years for His response to certain prayers. Once, my family was on our knees praying during an emergency for a family member who could have died from alcohol. And another time we were praying immediately for someone with a drug problem. And other times for members who were going into surgery. Those prayers, and many others like them, were answered by God at the time when we most needed Him.
Yes, God’s response to prayer has many facets. The take-away here is to remember—God answers us in His time, according to His perfect plan.