I will climb up to my watchtower
and stand at my guardpost.
There I will wait to see what the Lord says
and how he will answer my complaint. (NLT)
Most of us who pray have wrestled with the issue of unanswered prayer. And we have to admit that sometimes there seems only silence and inaction on the part of God in response to our prayers.
But there can be other times when we have said our prayers then not bothered to check whether any answer has come. When Habakkuk prayed to God about the injustices he saw around him, he expected some response. He kept his eyes and ears alert to an answer just as a watchman on a tower might be alert to any threat to a city.
I may pray and then even forget I have prayed and thus not seen an answer when it comes. I might pray and be so overcome with anxious fear that I have no clear discernment of any answer. Or I might pray in such a way as to assume a certain answer will come. When another answer comes I don’t recognise it because it does not fit in to my expectations.
Prayer is a matter of committing something or someone into God’s hands. We may express our wishes or hopes but in the end, we trust God to do what is best. We might even say there is no such thing as unanswered prayer. Rather there is prayer where the answers don’t appear in the way we expect or at the time we expect.
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The task of prayer does not finish as we say “Amen”. After the speaking, comes the watching and the waiting.