For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Although it delays a little
Naaman dipped himself seven times in Jordan prior to being healed. Israel had to go round Jericho seven times before the walls fell. Elijah prayed seven times before it rained. David reigned seven years and six months over Judah before being recognized as king by the rest of Israel. Abraham had to wait more than twenty years before the birth of the son of the promise. Moses had to wait forty years before his desire to save Israel was granted.
The parable of the widow and the unjust judge helps us to understand the need of waiting in our prayers. This parable concludes by saying: “And shall God not avenge his own elect who cry out day and night to him, though he bears long with them?" (Luke 18:7). The Jerusalem Bible translates the last sentence as: "...and makes them wait?". Then in the next verse, it says:”I tell you he will defend his cause soon” or “he will see justice done to them and done speedily”. This last verse seems to be a contradiction of the previous one, but it is not. It means that the answer comes, without doubt, although it takes some time.
Indeed, although the complete answer is coming soon, it does not come without taking a bit of time. However, many prayers are interrupted before the time set by God in order to enrich us with the patience of waiting. All of the requests we make to the Lord according to his will, we already have, and in this we must stand, but many times the answer comes when we had already lost hope of receiving it, or when we had forgotten the matter.
Hebrews 6:12 says that through faith and patience the promises are inherited. Each response of God to our prayers brings an added value which is the measure of patience that has been added to our spiritual stature. So let us give thanks for the responses granted but also give thanks for the patience that is gained in the waiting.