Answered Prayer: Persistent Listening

The Lord is constantly speaking to us, but we are frequently not listening. The Lord often answers our prayers long before we discern the answer, and then we blame God for not answering our prayers.

Then he said to me,”Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; (Daniel 10:12-13a, NKJV)

“And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O LORD God of my master Abraham, … behold, I stand by the well of water; … when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,” …- let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’

“But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. (Genesis 24:42-45, NKJV)

Now it was in the heart of my father David to build a temple for the name of the LORD God of Israel. But the LORD said to my father David, … you shall not build the temple, but your son … shall build the temple for My name.’ (1 Kings 8:17-19, NKJV)

The Lord always answers those who honestly and diligently seek to hear what the Lord has to say. Sometimes He says yes; sometimes He says no; sometimes He says wait, and sometimes the Enemy delays the answer, or provides us with false “prophets” who simply tell us what we want to hear, regardless of what the Lord has actually said (1 Kings 22:20-22, Jeremiah 27:9-10).

There are times when the Lord answers very quickly, and if we are receptive and observant, we can immediately have our answer. There are other times when we need to persevere by faith and not give up in order to get His answer. However, just because we don’t receive the answer we desired immediately does not mean the Lord hasn’t answered our prayers.

All Seven Spirits of God are always active in our prayers, unless we have prevented one or more of Them from working. The Spirit of Prophecy is the One we tend to work hardest at hindering. If you really aren’t planning on receiving a genuine response from the Lord your God, then why are you seeking Him in prayer?

The Lord will answer every prayer you offer. He probably has answered many of the prayers you thought He hadn’t answered, simply because you weren’t listening. Perhaps He said “yes under certain conditions”, or maybe He said “no.” Maybe He said “wait”, and maybe the answer was delayed or hindered by the Enemy, and when the answer came, you were no longer listening. If you really want to know what the Lord’s answer is, then seek it with all your heart:

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. ( Matthew 7:7-8, AMP)

If you are going to be lazy, you are probably NOT going to either receive or recognize the Lord’s answer when it comes. Unless you are determined to have an answer and hear it when it comes, you will never know what it means to hear the Lord speak to you and answer your prayers! You may be impatient, but the Lord will answer your prayers in His time and in His way, whether you like it or not.

Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord