I have to admit that I am not extremely technically inclined. I have been trying to figure out what has been causing my laptop to function slower and slower over time, but I have not had much success. I have looked at everything I know to look at, but as is often the case, I couldn’t find the problem. After a few moments of frustration, I got excited when I remembered that I had purchased an extended warranty. The warranty would give me an opportunity to repair the problem at little or no cost—or so I thought. I searched and searched for my warranty contract and finally found it. Much to my disappointment, the warranty coverage period expired about one month ago. My temporary excitement turned quickly into dejection. It didn’t matter how good the warranty was at one time, it was worthless now. The promises and commitments made by the warranty company were now meaningless. I would be forced to suffer through the continuing laptop problems, or spend the money to purchase a new one.
One of the most frustrating things we go through sometimes as Christians is our prayer lives. While it is an awesome privilege we have to be able to lift up our prayers to the Lord, it often becomes frustrating when our prayers are not answered quickly enough or in the manner we think they should be answered. Many times, I would pray and pray and pray about a situation seemingly without an answer. In some cases, my prayers would go years without seemingly being answered. Other times, it seemed as if I received an answer, but the answer was totally different than what I was expecting.
In thinking back many years over my prayer life, I learned the hard way that delays in receiving an answer to prayer help us grow our faith in many ways. Here are 4 things I learned that may help you in your own prayer life: (1) Delays in receiving an answer may be for our own good. God has a perfect plan for each of us and sometimes delays may be to provide us with more experience or preparation in a particular area of our life; (2) Delays may be for the benefit of others. In God’s infinite wisdom, our lives are often inter-woven with the lives of others. Only God knows the perfect time to answer our prayer to not only impact our life, but also the life of someone else; (3) Delays in receiving an answer may be to move you in a particular direction. Sometimes in my life, a delay was God’s way of telling me to change directions. Withholding what I was expecting as an answer forced me to make a change which was what God wanted all along; (4) A delay in receiving an answer to prayer may actually be a “no” from God that we refuse to accept. I can remember one particular case where if I had received the answer I originally wanted, the result would have been disastrous. Unfortunately, I was too stubborn at the time to accept the “no” that God was telling me.
God always answers our prayers and those prayers have no expiration date. Be patient, and watch how God works in your life.