by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday November 15, 2005
Steadfast in Prayer
The Lord is always in the process of answering prayer, but there are times that He requires us to wait. In our fast-paced society, we want instant results. But Jesus taught that we must have a steadfast spirit in prayer (Luke 18:1-7). God's reasons for delay vary, but He invariably intends for us to benefit by having waited a season.
Sin and Rebellion — God will withhold an answer if He detects unforgiveness, bitterness, or disobedience, or if He sees unhealthy habits forming in our life. Our heart's desire may be packaged and ready for delivery, but God cannot send it until we are spiritually ready to receive.
Faith — The Lord's ultimate goal is to build our faith by teaching us more about Himself. Sometimes He achieves this by postponing an answer to prayer. As we speak to Him of our need and ultimately see Him respond, we learn who He is and how He operates. We also discover that He is always trustworthy.
Patience — Steadfast prayer requires patience, a trait believers often have to learn. Our sense of the perfect moment for an answer — usually right now—is different from God's. Patience allows us to endure until the timing is right.
If we are sincere about developing a steadfast, God-centered prayer life, we will not give up after presenting a single request. We will do as the Lord tells us and keep asking, seeking, and knocking on the door of heaven until He either says no or gives us our heart's desire. We are not bothering God; we are communicating with our Father.