When I hear people talk about when and how long it takes for God to answer prayer, it puzzles me. In Philippians 4:6-7, it says when we pray that the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds. The minute we turn to God and have a conversation about something that is going on, that peace is available. If peace is going to keep our heart and mind it has to arrive pretty quick.
Prayer is not one sided. The listening part is pretty important. Too often, however, we shut off the dialogue too soon. We don’t allow God to prepare us for receiving the results of our prayer. People wait forever thinking that is just all you have to do. Unfortunately, that prayer scenario seems to drift away from them and then they roll back into the ‘God is distant’ theology.
God answers prayers all the time. His first response gives us peace and then he starts the process of addressing the specifics. Actually that is pretty exciting. There will be necessary information concerning the prayer to pay attention to either from the word or through the gift of holy spirit. Our job is to dig in an humbly learn. There could be a series of steps and it may take some time. God will help us grow to take those steps by providing necessary information, wisdom to take action and things to avoid, including the world wisdom and people who promote it. Honestly, if you have to talk to someone, God is the best listener and the Bible is the best reading.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. 24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established (firm, solid). Proverbs 4:20-26
We should guard our communications either from our own heart or what we receive from others. In this day of FaceBook, Twitter, and messenger we are exposed to a plethora of contacts and viewpoints. Something may sound so good and yet when you think about it it may resemble ‘fast-food’ theology rather than a true Biblical nutritious truth. Clever adages and culture proverbs often are short-lived in their effect. Good solid truth is very satisfying and relational with our God. There is no mistaking the difference and it starts the moment we decide we want to do life his way and recognize that it is the best way.