Often the statement is made: "We can't ask God for something and expect it to be answered right away. It has to be in His time and for His purpose, not ours."
WHEN IS IT GOD'S TIME? and what does it mean FOR HIS PURPOSE?
There is a lot of religiosity involved in the above statement, rather than Christianity.
It also leaves room for an excuse for unanswered prayers, due to lack of knowledge, unbelief and/or sin. It shows doubt and lack of faith.
God's time is WHEN WE NEED IT. HIS PURPOSE is to bless us and to glorify His own name, at the same time. IT WILL ALWAYS BENEFIT HIS CHILDREN.
His time can be anytime.
When you are drowning, do you call upon the Lord for help and say: "Lord save me, in Your time and if it is Your will" ? This shows lack of faith in the heavenly Father. Isn't He better than our earthly father? You may drown, if you pray that way.
A believer in Jesus Christ has to make up his mind by making a choice who he wants to trust, to follow and to obey.
DARE TO MAKE A STATEMENT BASED ON HIS WORD, HIS PROMISES!
Daniel in the lions' den needed the Lord to answer his prayer right away, or the lions would've chewed him up. He called upon the Lord, for Daniel needed help "right now".
Jesus says in Matthew 7:7... ASK AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU
John 14:14... You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Psalm 50:15... Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.
Psalm 81:10... OPEN YOUR MOUTH WIDE, AND I WILL FILL IT.
Luke 11:9... So, I say to you, ask and it will be given to you
John 15:7... If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Psalm 65:5... By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us.
Nowhere in the above scriptures does it mention about "future date".
If you have to go to court on Wednesday, when do you need God to answer your prayer? One year from now?
Is the Lord some "distance" God? Someone of whom we ask a favor and "hoping" that He will answer "at some time" ??
Are you walking close to Him, as a friend or is He a stranger to you? Don't we sing the hymn "What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear? He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother !
I realize that there are times in our lives, that we don't need the Lord's answer right away. We also may need time for growth in our spiritual life before the Lord will answer some specific requests. For example, when you have a desire to go into the ministry soon after you get saved, the Lord will have to teach you a few things first before He will respond to your desire.
How do we know that what we ask for is God's will? Once you have made the right decision of following Christ, trusting Him, obeying His word, resisting evil and sin, shunning temptation, walking close to Him, keeping Him as the Master of your life and seeking godly wisdom through His word, you will know God's will. His will is in His word.
Psalm 119:101-104 ... I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Thy word. I have not departed from Thy judgments: for Thou hast taught me. How sweet are Thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 91:1 ... He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide..
The "Secret Place" refers to a very close relationship and knowledge of The Lord. This knowledge in turn provides safety and security, as we can read this Psalm 91: 2... He is my Refuge and my Fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.
The believer also obtains wisdom by meditating on His Statutes and His testimonies.
Psalm 119:99,100 ... I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.
The believer who can say Psalm 119:99-104, can also count on the Father to answer his prayer in time of need, for he knows the will of the Father.
You don't need to make it more complicated than it is. If a trustworthy person gives you a signed letter, stating that if you clean his driveway from snow during the coming winter, he will give you $1000, you trust him. You believe it and you act upon this by the first snowfall. Although you haven't seen a penny yet, you continue to act by the second snowfall, the third and so forth. How come??
Couldn't you transfer this trust in a human being, to your heavenly Father?? He has given you His testament, signed and all.
Ephesians 5:17... Wherever be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 1:9... Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself.
God's will is in His promises and we can obtain His promises by abiding in Him and by responding to the prerequisites.
When the Lord says, knock and it will be opened unto you; ask and you will receive, we have to knock and to ask first.
Confess your sins and He is faithful to forgive, you have to confess first. Many believers like to skip the prerequisites for receiving the promises of God and then they wonder why God is not answering. They may then conclude that it is not God's will. But they have drawn the wrong conclusion. They only read God's part and never fulfilled theirs.
I encourage you to walk in the direction of your prayer, in faith.
Hebrews 11:1... Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
People of the world use the word "hope" as an uncertainty, and many Christians have adapted to this also.
For the follower of Christ the word "hope" must be a "SURE" (certain) expectation.
There is NO guesswork with the Lord. He may not personally reveal His will to you when it can be found in His word.
So, you have to read His letter, His word! You have to prayerfully study the Bible. Nothing comes effortless. We have to show sincere desire to come to know His will. We have to live well pleasing unto Him. And when we do this we may let Him know what we want, for what we want will be His will.
Our words are powerful and therefore, our confession must be according to the Scripture, if we want to see our prayers answered at the time we need it, for His glory and for our benefit.
May the Lord add His blessing to the explanation of His word. AMEN.