I sometimes hear from others and sometimes from myself, “gee, does God hear my prayers….. I’ve been praying about this issue for so long, and it seems that God is ignoring my request…. I don’t hear from him, what’s going on….”
This condition left to itself can bring discouragement and doubt in our relationship with the Lord. We shouldn’t allow this condition to become permanent … it’s not good. But, what should we do about it? Hmmmmm…. I’d suggest a couple of things.
First do a little analysis of your prayer life… what am I’m asking of the Lord? Is the request in accord with God’s will? At one level this should be pretty simple to determine…. is it in violation of any of God’s commandments, does it fit with the Lord’s teachings. Is there a ”timing element” involved in my request…maybe the Lord will say YES, but not now. After thinking and praying about the “request”, we may feel confident that my request is a Godly request, it’s a good thing, and I strongly believe God wants to answer this particular prayer. Okay, this is a very good start.
So, if we’re confident it’s a good prayer request, than we need to ask for patience and understanding while God determines the right time to answer it. Scripture is filled with examples of holy people asking for something, but God waiting for the right time. Even the birth of Jesus came in the “fullness of time”. The Israelites had been agonizing and praying and begging God for years and years for the messiah, yet it wasn’t the right time. In the fullness of time, Jesus came.
Someone may be praying to get married, looking for the person God wants them to marry…but it’s not working out… where are they ? Sometimes it seems that one person may be ready to marry , but the other one is not ready…. the time is not right.
Venerable Francis Cardinal Van Thuan of Vietnam was in a Communist prison camp for 13 years. He relates that “after my liberation, many people would ask me, Father in prison you must have had a lot of time to pray. It was not as simple as one might think. The Lord permitted me to experience all my weakness, my physical and mental fragility. Time passes slowly in prison, particularly in solitary confinement. Imagine a week, a month, two months of silence… there were days I was so worn out from exhaustion and illness that I could not manage to say a single prayer.” He goes on to say that during those times when my strength failed and I could not even pray, I would repeat, “Jesus, here I am, it’s Francis . Joy and consolation would come to me and I would experience Jesus responding, “Francis, here I am , it’s Jesus”.
In his perfect way and time, the Lord heard Francis. Part of the ways he answered him was to gain his release from prison…he went to Rome and became a friend of Pope John Paul II… serving the church, writing books…telling his story.
Also with us …. he hears every prayer… he is about answering each of them …even now in June of 2021. So have hope and don’t be discouraged, your prayers will be answered…perfectly. And when times are difficult and you feel alone, just allow your heart to utter, “ Jesus, here I am, it’s David ….. it’s Judy, Chris, Cath, Dave, Anne, Mark, Pete, Kristin, Mary, Pete, Cris, Jon, Joy, Jon, Laur, Drew, Sue, Dan, Ang, Dave…here we are. And wait to hear in return… and here I am, it’s Jesus.
This is very good news.