Most of us pray as David did, “Do not hide your face from me in the day of my trouble; incline your ear to me; in the day that I call, answer me speedily” (Psalm 102:2, NKJV). The Hebrew word for ‘speedily’ suggests “right now, hurry up, in the very hour I call on you, do it!” David was saying, “Lord, I put my trust in you, but please hurry!”

God is in no hurry. He doesn’t jump at our commands. In fact, at times you may wonder if he will ever answer. You cry out, weep, fast and hope; but days, weeks, months, even years go by, and you don’t receive even the slightest evidence that God is hearing you. You may become perplexed and start to question yourself, thinking, “Something must be blocking my prayers.”

Over time, your attitude toward God may become something like this: “Lord, what do I have to do to get this prayer answered? You promised in your Word to give me an answer, and I prayed in faith. How many tears must I shed? What am I doing wrong? What sin in my life is hindering my prayers?”

Why does God delay answers to sincere prayers? It certainly isn’t because he lacks power, and he is most willing to work on our behalf and give us good gifts. No, the answer is found in one of Jesus’ parables. “Then he spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).

The Greek word for ‘lose heart,’ or ‘faint’ in the King James Version, means “relax, become weak or weary in faith, give up the struggle, no longer wait for completion.” The Lord is seeking for a praying people who will not relax or grow weary of coming to him.

Paul wrote to the early church, encouraging them in a similar way. “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9). The people of God will wait on the Lord, not giving up before his work is completed, and they will be found faithfully waiting when he brings the answer.