On occasion, it seems that God answers our prayers almost as quickly as we speak them. It happened that way for Eliezer, the servant Abraham sent to find a wife for Isaac. As he came to the certain well, Eliiezer said, "Lord, let a young virgin come here to draw water, and when I say to her, 'Give me a drink,' let her answer, 'Not only will I give you a drink, but I'll also draw water for your camels.' Lord, let that woman be the one You have chosen as a bride for Isaac."
While the servant was yet praying in his heart, a young girl came to the well to draw water. He said to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher." She quickly let the water jug down from her head, gave him a drink, and then said, "I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking." And she drew water for the camels (Genesis 24:1-20).
We've all experience the truth that God does not always answer all our prayers as fast as He did Eliezer's prayer. Sometimes we even feel as if God has not even been hearing us. Be assured God does hear our prayers. Pastor Chuck continues:
"One day, Hannai, the seer came to King Asa and said, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those who heart is loyal to Him" (2 Chronicles 16:9). What is God telling us through this verse? He is saying that He looks for people who hearts are in harmony with His purposes-lives taht are dedicated to those things He desires to do-in order that He might pour His resources through them. God is looking for places to work, live through which he can work, lives through which He can invest His resources. All it takes is a heart that is completely toward Him, towards His purposes, and toward His plan.
In Hannah's situation, she finally came to a place of saying 'GOd, if You'll just give me a son, I will give him back to You all the days of his life, that he might be totally consecrated to You" (1 Samuel 1:11). Now she is alilgned with God's purpose, which is to find a man to deliver the nation, and God is read to answer her prayer. God delayed in order to bring her around to that which He desired for the nation Himself.
Sometimes God waits because He is working something within you. But there is another reason why prayers are sometimes delayed. Sometimes, the work that needs to be done is not within you, it is within the spiritual realm. The world is in the midst of heavy spiritual warfare. The forces of God and the forces of evil war against one another continually. And as a prayer is a spiritual activity, our prayers have a weighty role in that battle. Satan fights against our prayers-and sometimes, delays the answers. (Daniel 10:5-14)
It is only natural to become impatient while we wait for the answers to our prayers. David knew the frustration. The psalmist sometimes asked, "Lord, why are You tarrying? Why do you wait so long? Answer me speedily." But we have to trust that when God waits, God has a reason. He is changing something in the spirit world, or He is changing something in you. Keep praying, align your will with His, and wait patiently. If your prayers agree with God's desires, you can be sure He will answer in time."
If not - well, that is another subject to be discussed."
Excerpts from pp.141-156 of Prayer - Our Glorious Privelage" by Pastor Chuck Smith