We Do Not See the Answers to Our Own Prayers image

We Do Not See the Answers to Our Own Prayers

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We arise from our holy meeting with God in prayer, we expect a real answer, and we look for it hour by hour. But nothing happens. The illness and distress that have prompted us to pray take their natural course. No almighty hand seems to stay their ravages! What disappointments! What discouragements! What weariness descends upon our prayer life after such experiences!

Again, we have made use of prayer for something for which prayer should not be used. We have prayed in violation of the laws which govern prayer life. And the consequences cannot be avoided. Prayer has again become a great effort on our part, and we begin to grow tired of praying.

Now notice what we have missed! Did not God hear our prayer? Indeed He did, and proceeded at once to fulfil it. But He Himself reserved the right to decide when and how the answer was to be given, and in His own time the answer came. We, however, did not experience it as an answer. We had long since forgotten that we had prayed for this particular thing; at least, we did not recognise it as an answer to the prayer we had prayed ... Our prayer life, in other words, makes us poorer than we really are, because we do not see the answers to our own prayers.

—Ole Hallesby, Prayer, 42 (emphasis added)

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