Sometimes we pray about something and then we forget about it for a while, at least I often do, especially if the heat dies down. God, apparently, does not. Daniel's prayer was answered immediately but there was a time-lag before Daniel saw the response materialise in the physical.
I came across a newspaper article (here) describing a development proposal for the former Zest (Hollywoods) nightclub near the station in Ipswich, that at the peak of its notoriety a few years back, was the subject of much prayer.
Similarly and probably like many others, I have prayed about the lifeless skeleton of a building on Ipswich waterfront, the 'wine rack' as it is often called. As I prayed, thoughts from Ezekiel 37 entered my head, 'can these bones come to life?' Eventually, after talking to God about it, I felt I ought to speak to it (that always feels a bit strange), prophesying life over it as I have driven past it or walked around it. There is now activity on the site and I hope and continue to pray it will become a blessing - a positive advantage to Ipswich - a useful building, perhaps a good home.
So in my experience His answers are not always instant, direct or quite as I expect. I have seen a remarkable number answered, but when I rant and rail in my lack of understanding, He waits patiently until I have finished and am prepared to listen and know His heart. He has never taken away my freedom of choice to respond in whatever way I choose, like a wise, loving Father, He wants the best for us - that is the working out of His plan as unfathomable as that sometimes seems to us.
Therefore it seems to me that no prayer is wasted in God's kingdom. He will use prayer to enrich our relationship with Him, change our hearts (if we'll listen) or indeed change the situation. He'll use our prayer to build His kingdom according to His perfect wisdom and His timescales, not ours.
So like King David in Psalm 141, I ask that our prayer be counted as incense and the lifting of our hands be counted as the 'evening sacrifice' and like Cornelius in Acts 10, that our prayer and positive actions would be counted as a memorial offering before God.
Every prayer is valuable, stay connected (John 15:5).
This blog was contributed by Greg Mason who is a Town Pastor, out on the streets of Ipswich and in the prayer room.
You can read more about being in the Town Pastor prayer room here: A bible, a town link radio and a bowl of sweets...
These blogs are written by different people from the IIP team. They are prompted by the things we talk about and pray about when we meet together and by words shared from the praying community in Ipswich.