‘Pray without ceasing.’1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV
The Bible encourages us to pray relentlessly. Nineteenth-century evangelist George Müller had a list of five people who he was desperate to see meet Christ. He prayed for them regularly, and saw one person on the list become a Christian after five years. After ten years, another two became Christians, and a fourth after twenty-five years. Müller prayed for the fifth person for fifty-two years, and shortly after Müller’s funeral, they made a commitment to Christ. He didn’t get to see that person meet Jesus, but he had prayed ‘without ceasing’ and God did answer. We know that God’s promise is simple; in Jeremiah 33:3 He says, ‘Call to me and I will answer you’ (NIV). If we can learn to take God at His word, to believe that He will always answer when we meet with Him, then we too can grow the faith to pray expectantly for fifty-two years without yet seeing that answer. Müller himself said ‘God delights to increase the faith of His children. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hands as a means. Trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.’ Believing that God hears us and is at work takes practice and patience, especially if we don’t see any answers right away. In those times, cling to verses like 1 John 5:14, which tells us that ‘if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear us’ (NIV). Sometimes we have the privilege of seeing prayer answered. Sometimes though, we don’t get to see the outcome, or it doesn’t look the way we expect. Still, know that God always moves if we call to Him. What Now? Make a list of times that you know God heard you, where you’ve seen Him move. Keep this list to remind you, whether you see the outcome for yourself or not, God always answers.