Prayer Requests: Are Delays Really Denials From God?
Daniel 10:12-13 (NIV) “Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.”
Jesus taught us the importance of prayer while He walked the earth. In Matthew 6:9-13 we can read what is now called “The Lord’s Prayer.” It is a wonderful example for all believers on HOW to pray.
When we approach the throne of God, we need to include praise and recognition of God’s position and authority. Then present we can confidently present our requests, including one for forgiveness. Protection from the evil one should be a daily part of our prayers, as the devil likes to harass and oppress the children of God. It is always a good idea to pray a hedge of protection around yourself and the ones you love.
In Hebrews and Ephesians we are told that we can approach the throne of God with freedom and confidence. We are commanded to pray without ceasing. This means we should be in constant communication with God throughout our day, by intercession for others, ourselves, and by giving God praise and thanks.
James 1:6 tells the believer that when he petitions God through prayer, he needs to do so without doubt. The prayer offered up in the spirit must be offered with a confidence that God will answer it. The important thing to remember is that the prayer request may not be answered in the time or way the petitioner imagined. God hears all prayers and all prayers are answered. He listens to the cries of His children.
Finally, we come to the topic of timing. First, as I said before, prayers are answered in God’s time. His timing is perfect and we need to rest in that knowledge. He has a purpose for every trial, lesson, and joyful experience we face. Each one of these serves to prod us along, into the fulfillment of His plan.
As His adopted children, Jesus instructed us to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as lambs. This advice needs to include our awareness of spiritual warfare. We do not fight a battle of just flesh and blood, but rather one that includes powers and principalities of darkness.
By reading Daniel 10, we learn that Daniel’s prayer was heard by God immediately. However, there was a delay in the “answer” to his plea. This time, it was not because of God’s decision to hold off and wait on things. The angel that finally appears tells Daniel that he had been in a spiritual battle for twenty-one days. The prince of the Persian kingdom resisted his advancement to help Daniel. It was not until the angel Michael came to his assistance that the detained angel was able to move forward with his mission to help Daniel.
You need to realize that all prayers are heard by God and answered. You also need to understand the importance of daily dressing yourself in the Spiritual armor of Christ. It will help you to resist the enemy. God sends His legion of angels, or messengers, to fulfill your prayer requests.
Remember, there can be delays to your prayer requests due to God’s perfect timing, will, or because of a spiritual battle. A delay could be for your safety, or it could be that the angel armies are busy fighting on your behalf.
James 1:6 (NIV) “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Ephesians 3:12 (NIV) “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV) “This, then, is how you should pray…
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”