Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV): “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
From this passage we can see that the Lord Jesus will answer our prayers, but He wants us to be patient and we need to wait. This is contrary to the norm of our society where everything is fast-paced, many things have to be resolved quickly and we all want immediate result and instant gratification. In “the parable of the persistent widow” as recorded in Luke 18:1-7, our Lord Jesus teaches us that the attitude of prayer must be firm and patient. God’s reasons for delays in answering our prayers vary, but He always wants us to wait patiently for a proper duration of time before He gives us the best response.
If we go against God's will and live in sin, and are unforgiving and unable to remove bitterness from our hearts, then we are still living in our old self that does not glorify God. In such cases, God certainly will refuse to answer our prayers. In fact, someone may have said that God always packages the answers to our prayers and desires early and keeps these packages unopened until we are spiritually mature and ready in the fullness of time. In similar fashion, the Lord Jesus wants us to know His will and to build our faith on it. God’s delay in answering our prayer sometimes benefits us. When we know that our petition is in accordance with God’s will, His eventual answer enables us to understand who He is. With obedience to His sovereignty, we can experience His faithfulness.
The prayer of faith requires the patience that we often lack. Patience is what we need to persevere until the time is right. If we truly want to have a God-centered prayer, we must refrain from making inappropriate requests. We need to be persistent and ask for it more than once without giving up. Dear Lord, please teach us how to pray in accordance with your will with patience and persistence; and answer our prayers if they are Your will. Amen!