How do you maintain your faith? I ask god for answered prayer for a need not a want. It never seems to happen. That’s what i struggle with. How do I maintain faith whiLe waiting for a prayer that never seems to get answered? I lose faIth in the process. I know that the lord is not a Jeannie in a bottle. I know about his timiNg. It’s faith during the process I struggle with.
The Bible says, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, NIV). The New King James Version puts it this way, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The New American Standard reads, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” The English Standard Version translates it this way, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
I struggle with faith when I neglect the Bible. The teachings of the Bible and the stories within its pages ignite my faith.
For instance, the story of Hannah is a story about delayed answer to prayer. Hannah wanted a baby. Barrenness was a social stigma for a woman in the Old Testament days. The Bible says that God closed her womb and that “her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year” (1 Samuel 1:6-7, NIV). Hannah’s burden must have been heavy and she prayed fervently for a child. 1 Samuel 1:20, NIV, tells us that “the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son.” My faith is strengthened when I read this. I realize that God is listening to my prayers and that He acts according to His timing which is always right.
Another example on the same theme is Daniel. In Daniel 10:12-14 we learn that an answer to his prayer was delayed twenty-one days. Again, reading the Bible gives me perspective and increases my faith. I learn from Daniel that sometimes I have to wait for answers.
God does not tell us when an answer to prayer will be coming. It may come soon. It may come after a period of waiting. The finest book I have read on this subject is When It Hurts Too Much to Wait: Understanding God’s Timing by Larry Richards. I highly recommend it.
Stay in the Word. Read it. Think about it. Dwell on it. Soak in it. Your faith will increase.
~ Pastor Chris