We can often make the mistake that if God doesn't answer our prayers with a "yes", or if He doesn't answer them in good time, then He hasn't answered them at all - and isn't planning to either. After all, the problem that we've prayed and prayed for Him to fix remains unresolved so surely that means He hasn't heard us!
But think about it: we wouldn't hold anyone else, like a parent or a spouse, to such a rigid and ridiculous criteria.
We can treat technology in a similar way – hitting play multiple times while a video is still loading, anxiously refreshing when a website doesn't load – but our God deserves greater respect and understanding than that.
An approach to prayer which is akin to how many of us approach malfunctioning technology doesn't just miss the point of prayer, it also misinterprets God's character. While this isn't to say that we shouldn't bring ongoing issues to God in prayer multiple times, we should realise that "no"and "not right now" are also valid answers when it comes to prayer.
The truth is God does hear us and He does answer, it just doesn't always come in the form we'd expect, and it doesn't always mean that we get what we want.
Let these Bible verses fill you with the confidence to ask God for anything and seek his help whatever the situation, knowing that he hears and responds.
Mark 11:24 - Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1 John 5:14-15 - This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
John 15:7 - If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Matthew 7:7-8 - Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Psalm 37:4 - Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Jeremiah 29:12 - Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
John 16:23-24 - In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Matthew 18:19 - Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.