Is there a Date for Answered Prayer?

When my daughter was approaching her third birthday, one of her friends sent a parcel by  mail four weeks ahead of the big day. Radiance saw the gift before I could hide it so I laid it in full view high up on the book shelf. Each day she would look wistfully at the yellow-wrapped box beckoning enticingly beyond her reach. I felt sorry for her and moved the box out of sight, but she kept asking to see it so I placed it on the shelf again. The little girl was very excited at the promise of the parcel which she knew contained something good because it was from someone who loved her.

Waiting was hard, and two-year olds have no concept of time. Radiance measured time in terms of ‘how long it took to watch a Dora show on TV.’ We also measured time by the number of sleeps, but she could not conceptualize twenty eight sleeps until her birthday. (I am reminded that God measures time in eternity, and we humans cannot fathom what that really is.)  Then the Holy Spirit whispered a nugget of truth regarding the delay of answered prayer:

“Each prayer you’ve prayed is like a gift waiting to be opened, and it has a date on it.”

It was a light bulb moment for me. And Friend, I believe that God has a response date on the packages of your prayers. And it could be today! Ten days from now, one year from now, or in another time frame. Hold on to the Word of the Lord that each prayer you’ve uttered has been heard, and like a child waiting to open a gift anticipating the promise of its goodness, the answer to your prayer is waiting to unfold on its due date.

Through seasons of seemingly unanswered prayer – and I say ‘seemingly’ because Wait is an answer, just as No is a response – I want to encourage you to expect your answers. To vow that for better or for worse that you will never stop praying and believing. For your prayers will be answered. The fullness of time for you will come. This has been settled in heaven a long time ago and sealed with the caption, “Not one jot or tittle of His word shall return unanswered.” (Matthew 5:18 paraphrased.)

(Contributed this article to Under The Cover of Prayer blog site on Sep 30/13)

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