This post is for all of you who have been crying out to God for something, maybe even for years, and all seems silent.
This post is for you who are ready to give up.
This post is for the prayer warriors, who are growing weary, yet day by day keep praying.
This is for you who wonder if God is even listening.
These are not my thoughts, I can’t take credit for them. I only share them because today they impacted me deeply.
This morning my pastor was sharing on the topic of prayer, and how we need to ask if we want to receive answers.
And in my head I know this, I really do.
But in my heart of hearts, if I were to be really honest, often I don’t believe it. There are things I have been praying for, for YEARS. Literally years. And Nothing. Seems. To. Happen.
In fact, often everything just seems to get even worse.
And I cry out, “When God? When will you hear my prayers? When will my dear loved one give her life to you? When will I be reconciled with those whom I love? I long for our friendship to be restored!! When will my friend’s broken marriage be healed? When God? Are you even listening anymore?!?”
And sometimes I’m filled with despair, because it seems hopeless. It seems as if all my prayers have been in vain.
My heart is filled with pain.
Because I am tired. I’m so tired of hoping when all seems hopeless. I’m so tired of pressing in for people who just seem to grow harder and harder against me and against God.
However, today, once again I was filled with hope.
Today I was reminded of a passage I had long forgotten. It’s found in Daniel 10.
Daniel goes on a 21 day fast. He is crying out for answers. This fast is so intense, he is most likely not even bathing – I mean, Daniel is SERIOUSLY seeking God…but for 21 days he hears nothing. At the end of the 21 days, he is visited by an angel whom God sent in answer to Daniel’s prayers.
We hear this story, and we nod, because of course it seems perfectly natural for this to happen…in the bible. And we think, after 21 days, I mean that’s persistent prayer and fasting… so we reason, ok, God was just sitting there, waiting, and after enough prayer, Daniel finally got his answer!
This was not the case. Read the story, and read it carefully. Daniel 10:12 says:
“Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before God, your words were heard and I have come in response to them.”
The first day.
God heard him the first day.
I don’t know about you, but these words cause my eyes to fill with tears even now.
Because they fill me with hope. Hope that was almost gone.
God heard me the first time I prayed.
Whether I started praying for it today, or 2 years ago, or 10 years ago, he heard me the first time.
This means the first prayer I prayed for these things mattered, and my prayers still matter. The moment I began to call on God, God began to answer. However, if you read on in the book of Daniel, you will see that there was much happening behind the scenes before an answer could be given. There was a battle to be fought, and won. There were spiritual forces needing to be struck down. The timing had to be right.
Dear friend, the moment you call on God, he begins to answer.
He heard you the very first time.
Don’t give up, don’t lose hope – for God is a good father and he WILL give justice to his elect, who cry out to him day and night. (Luke 18:7)
May this message bring you as much encouragement today as it did me.