«The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous» (Proverbs 15:29).
THE WELL-KNOWN EVANGELIST Billy Graham said, in one of his sermons, that on one occasion he received a letter from a church member. In that letter, the woman told him that she was desperate because of her husband. She had been praying for ten years for the conversion of that man, who made her life difficult. But apparently, nothing was able to subdue that rude nun, who had no emotions and no faith.
After carefully reading the letter, Billy Graham decided to respond personally with the following sentence: «Continue praying more.» For her it was a difficult order to carry out, but she decided to do it by faith. A year later, the woman communicated to him that precisely that year, the eleventh one praying for her husband, had made a difference in their lives. ne husband had at last surrendered himself to Jesus and was a new person, a completely different man.
Sometimes God answers our prayers quickly, but at other times, He prefers that we wait, because He knows that the wait will produce certain fruits in us—fruits such as the development of faith, patience, hope, perseverance in prayer Perhaps the wait sometimes leads us to ask ourselves necessary questions, such as: Why am I asking for what I ask? Are my prayers selfish (see James 4:3)? Am I ready for a positive response? Will I be able to continue to have faith in God if the answer is negative (see Mark 14:36)? Am I living a life consistent with the requests I make to the Lord? Or have I perhaps cherished evil in my heart and therefore the Lord does not listen to me (see Psalm 66: 18)? And through all this communication with God, our spiritual maturity develops.
Dear friend, I do not know what prayers you have been repeating for years. Perhaps you have insistently prayed for a spouse, or to get along better with the one you have; or perhaps the concern of your life is a son or daughter whom you no longer know how to help. Perhaps illness has been affecting your family for years and you insistently ask God for health, or what you ask for most in prayer is to finally be able to free yourself from economic worries, No matter the reason for which you still do not have an answer, do not forget that God strengthens you spiritually through that connection with Him.