“I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.” Luke 11:8 (NASB)
I have friends who have been waiting and praying for certain, specific things for a long, long time. They are in desperate need of a buyer for their house and have been asking God for almost a year now. It is hard to believe that it has been that long, but it has. They have been praying night and day, without ceasing for a buyer. My friend says they have never prayed so long and so hard for anything ever in their lives.
When we were in that situation I know I did not waver in my asking. Each day began with me loudly, boldly pounding on the door asking the Lord to bring our friends a buyer for our house. Some days included shaking the doorknob, kicking the door, and even screaming to be heard. Each night ended with further prayer for the same thing.
Several of us have joined them in prayer and for a while our prayers were bold. We were pounding on the door as the man Luke 18 did. He was apparently pretty bold and maybe even obnoxious about wanting some bread for his midnight guest. He was not going away for anything without that bread! He was pounding and banging and yelling, “Friend!! Friend!!” He must have woke the entire house, and maybe the neighbors too with his demands for food to feed his unexpected guest. The guy gave it to him, according to the parable, because he was persistent.
I imagine that guy got kind of tired…he must have been tired and maybe a little embarrassed to keep on with it knowing He was bugging the entire house and surrounding people at midnight.
Have you been at it a lot longer than he? Are you exhausted from the ordeal? Persistence of this kind takes energy. When we were waiting for our house to sell and praying long and hard, I recall having started on my feet, and ended up slumped in a heap on the threshold, my knocks faint and soft. My pleas started loud and bold and ended a mere whimper and often mingled with tears.
When we pray, God is not hearing anything He did not already know. He has been aware of our problems since before the beginning of time. He knows the day and time He will answer our prayers and He knows what He intends to accomplish in us and through us to people we come in contact with. I want to encourage you to be confident that persistence in prayer and waiting are also a part of His plan.
His reasons for the appearance of a delay in answering prayer are His alone. He is perfect in knowledge and perfect in holiness. There is no malice or evil in His delay, God does not procrastinate.
So let me encourage you today to begin anew- knocking, pounding, begging and pleading for the thing that you need… Far more important than getting what you are praying for is your response to God during this time.
Be careful not to allow bitterness and anger to make their home in your heart, be aware of this and fight against this. Choose persistence in your situation and believe that God is accomplishing what He wills to accomplish in you during this time. Choose faith, and believe that He will answer us in His time because no matter how it looks today He is faithful.