Early this week, I felt like I heard God say that He loves to answer my prayers. My honest first response was retorting back, “What about all the delayed answers?” Every season of my life, there seems to be at least one major unanswered prayer for that season. I pray. I pour my heart out. I weep. I fast. I sing. I imagine God’s answers. I declare and decree loudly. I blow the shofar … Silence … In fact, sometimes the situation gets worse. I have heard that there are many reasons for delayed answers: spiritual warfare, sin, timing, character building, free will choices. I may be able to make an intellectual list of a lot of good reasons for delayed answers or unanswered prayers. Yet none of them strike my heart with an “Aha. This is why my prayer is not getting answered.” None of them really give me the comfort, nor the strength I need to keep clinging to God for answers. What keeps me clinging to God? God Himself. He is my strength. He is my resilience. He is my encouragement.
I still do not understand delays, but my heart believes God’s word that He LOVES to answer my prayers. These past few days, His Spirit repeatedly reminds me that He loves to answer my prayers, and each time I gratefully receive His word to me. Out loud, I gratefully respond, “Daddy, thank You that You love to answer my prayers.” He wants to answer my prayers. He loves to answer my prayers. He wants me to ask and keep asking so that He can give and I can receive. It brings Him joy to bring me joy. So I ask and keep asking, believe and keep believing…and as I do this, I feel God deepening reservoirs of strength, faith, love and joy, making these momentary light afflictions worth the eternal weight of glory.