Sadly, I am going through a Not-Yet answer for something I have wanted very badly for a long time. I like how Bob Pierce says there are 4 answers to prayer.
Franklin Graham, ““When we truly pray, we do not move God to ourselves, but ourselves to God. A small boat nears shore, and a man throws a rope and anchor toward a sandy beach. He, then, when the anchor has bitten into the sand, pulls on the rope and draws the boat up on the beach. The shore did not move out to the boat–the boat is drawn up onto the beach.
God answers all prayer. He does not answer our selfish, materialistic begging. He does not move into our sinful situation. He moves us out of our sinful situation into Himself.
God sometimes moves slowly. Sometimes we don’t lack faith, but patience. Wait patiently for HIm, and He will give you your heart’s desire.
1) if the request is not right, He will answer, “No.”
2) If the time is not right, He will answer, “Slow.”
3) When you are not right, He will answer, “Grow.”
4) When the request, the time and you are right, God will say, “Go.”
That’s when miracles happen.
That was written on May 16th, 1970, the day that Dr. Bob first caught hold of the vision to start Samaritan’s Purse. What miracles we have seen year after year, as God has worked in mighty ways.”
I am certain the request I am praying for is right and in accordance with God’s will. What is growing painfully clearer to me is that I am not right yet. I have some growing to do, and heart surgery.
And that is how faith grows, in the interstices between desire and fulfilment. As we grow to love God and delight in him even more than in the answered prayer.
And though the not yet is very very painful, I know it develops the treasure of faith, and faith is one of our greatest helps in leading a happy life.
A period of unanswered prayer helps us sink our roots deep into the soil of faith and God, and a tree thus anchored is always stronger.