One of the most baffling and disturbing experiences in a Christian's life is delayed answers to prayers. At a certain point in their walk with God, every genuine Christian will experience delay in the manifestion of God's answers to their prayers. If you have experienced this, rest assured, you are not alone.
I understand that the thought of our prayers going unanswered does not feel pleasant. Many have lost hope and faith in God in the course of waiting for answers to their prayers.
I once stumbled on this forum that had many ex-Christians—Believers who had long lost faith and given up on God. Majority of them had a similar complaint: that everything God handles, He puts delay on it. Worse part, they were as well encouraging other people to serve the devil because God wastes too much time on everything. It was quite disheartening to see such coming from people who once professed Christianity.
Hebrews 10:38 KJVNow the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
We cannot afford to be among those who lose faith in God and turn around to accuse Him of being unfair to them. We cannot afford to be among those who shrink back and are destroyed in their unbelief.
Why Some Prayers Are Not Answered
Apparently, humans love blaming God for mishaps, hardship, suffering and unswered prayers. But in most cases, God is not the cause of all of these things, but humans themselves.
We must ensure that we do our part towards receiving answers to our prayers, then God will do His part as well.
God Demands Faith
There are scriptural principles that are meant to guide a man in his efforts to have a good rapport with God. Faith is a principal requirement for receiving from God. By it the elders obtained a good report (Hebrews 11:2).
It is not God's responsibility to have faith in Himself, but man's responsibility to have faith in God. If a man does not have faith in God, he cannot receive from Him.
James 1:6-7 KJVBut let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Some prayers that people offer to God, they do it full of doubt and uncertainty in their minds. As much as relationship with God is based on faith, so is answers to prayers. Before we begin to question God on why He is not answering our prayers, let us be sure that we are offering our prayers in faith.
Hebrews 11:6 KJVBut without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Faith is the currency of Heaven—it is the substance we need to exchange for the things we want from God. Same way we cannot acquire any commodity on earth without money, no man can receive a thing from God without faith.
God Demands Patience
Impatience has robbed many of their breakthrough, answered prayers and the blessings of God long before they manifested.
Proverbs 19:2 (NASB 1977)Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who makes haste with his feet errs.
It is needful we know the character of God and relate with Him from the place of that knowledge. Hastiness is nasty. God does nothing in haste.
Patience is a product of faith. Where there is genuine faith, there is also patience and then, perseverance. Sometimes, God will test our faith by making us wait. It is our responsibility to ensure we do not fail this test.
James 1:3-4 KJVKnowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
If the faith is genuine, we would be patient and continue persevering in prayer for the things we want from the Lord.
When God is pleased with the way we trust and wait on Him patiently, He can bring answers to our prayers faster than we expect.
Not All Prayer Points Are The Same
The fact that God makes us wait for answers to certain prayers does not mean that He is never going to answer those prayers. A request and another request is never the same. Heaven grades them differently.
If some things we request from God were meant to be released at a future date (not immediately), God may choose to make us wait. Also, certain things we ask from God are very important—they are not supposed to be released immediately, if not we might mishandle and lose them. God would not just release them on hearing the first request. In most cases, God has to test and equip us for the things we ask from Him before releasing them.
If God decides to make us wait for answers to certain requests we make known to Him, He has His reasons. We must trust His wisdom. We must trust that He knows what He is doing and it is for our good. We should not give up while we wait.
Be Sure You Are Not Praying Amiss
James 4:3 KJVYe ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
There are no answers to prayers that are outside the will of God for us, but disappointments and frustrations.
It is needful we know the Word of God; know the character of God and understand His will for us as individuals. When these are in place, we will not pray amiss.
In most cases, when God is silent, it is because people are praying amiss. If the Holy Spirit notifies us that we are praying wrong, we should correct our mistake immediately and pray the right way, then answers will come.
God Hears Prayers, But Answers Might Be Delayed
Do not give room to any voice that tells you God is not listening or hearing your prayers. This is one of the worst kind of doubts.
Although answers might be delayed due to any of the above reasons or more, God hears yours prayers. Believe it and do not stop praying.
God hears prayers and God still answers prayers. Some answers might be instant, some may manifest later.
If there are some of your prayers that have gone unswered for a long time, so long it is the will of God, the answer will definitely manifest. Do not grow weary of asking and trusting God.
We must understand that certain things we ask from God are of a high grade, there is a price to be paid before we receive them (and that includes patience).
While we pray and wait, our faith should be on the increase (and not diminish)—since it is faith that pleases God. We must show God that we trust Him even in the delay. We cannot afford to be unfaithful and impatient servants who seek help from the enemy with the excuse that God wastes too much time.
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