As Christians we live our daily lives by Faith. We are saved by Faith,
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,“ (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)
We believe by Faith that God is with us all the time because He has promised that.
‘ I am with you always, even to the end of the age.‘ (Matthew 28:20 NKJV)
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV)
When we pray we believe, by Faith, that He will answer our prayers.
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.“ (Mark 11:24 NKJV)
Sometimes having Faith when we pray is very difficult, especially if we have been praying for a long time for breakthrough in certain areas of our life and we see nothing happening. I would like, as an encouragement to look at a passage of scripture from the Old Testament to show that even though we can’t see how God is answering prayer there are wheels in motion to see the breakthrough happen.
I want to look in Exodus and look at the plight of the Israelites under Egyptian rule. The Israelites were in Egypt because of Joseph. (I don’t want to go through the Joseph story here but if you want further encouragement as to how amazing our God is, read from Genesis chapter 37 until the end of the book.) The Israelites are in Egypt and have grown in number and have become a threat. Exodus puts it like this
“ But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” “ (Exodus 1: 7-10 NKJV)
From becoming a free people they are made to be slaves. The Pharaoh, at the time, even ordered the death of new born males to curb the rise in population. It is during this time that we are introduced to Moses who is saved from death by the ingenuity of his mother and is brought up in the Courts of Pharaoh by the Pharaoah’s daughter with his mother as his nurse maid. Let’s just stop there for a second and ponder on that fact. How amazing is God to orchestrate that!! He knew the plight the Israelites were under at this time before time began and had put into place circumstances that would save the child who would eventually lead His people out of bondage and into freedom.
Moses, to make matters a bit more complicated, murders an Egyptian and has to run from Pharaoah’s anger to a country called Midian where he settles down, marries and has a family!!
It is from here that I want us to look at God’s unseen working when it comes to answers to prayer. Let’s have a look at the Israelites;
“Now it happened in the process of time that the king of Egypt died. Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.” (Exodus 2:23 NKJV)
The verse seems to suggest that one day they all decided that they had had enough and so got together in a huge slave prayer meeting and prayed. I can tell you that this calling out to God wasn’t a one off occurrence. You can imagine the prayers daily and nightly that were lifted up. “Save us! Free us! Where are you? Come on God have you forgotten us? You promised us! Remember what You said to Abraham! Don’t leave us here.” etc., etc.
They were doing the same as we do. They were petitioning God. asking for His help. The story goes on,
“So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.“ (Exodus 2:24 – 25NKJV)
The point that I want to make is this,,,,, They didn’t know that was His response. He didn’t suddenly come down from heaven and say “Alright my children, don’t be concerned now, everything will be alright. I am now going to set you free.” They hadn’t a clue and I expect they kept on praying, asking for their freedom but God had heard and from that point the prayer was answered. They wouldn’t know that God answered the prayer until they saw the answer for themselves but God had heard and answered.
The reason that the writer knew God had answered their prayers was because Moses himself wrote most of Exodus and he knew that while the Israelites were praying, God was answering them by calling in on him, via the burning bush while he was in Midian. a couple of hundred kilometres away, watching his father-in-law’s sheep!!
“And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey,” (Exodus 3: 7-8 NKJV)
The point I want us to see is that while we are praying we haven’t a clue the wheels God has already put in motion to see that prayer fulfilled. Remember He already knows what we are going to say before we say it.
“You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD” (Psalm 139:4 NLT)
When you pray God always hears and always answers.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.“ (1 John 5: 14-15 NKJV)
Be encouraged. Don’t give up. There might be a Moses who at this moment is answering a call of God which is somehow going to answer your prayer or at least contribute to the answer to your prayer. We cannot see the unseen.
““Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
Do not give up hope. Hope is vital and a gift from God.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” ( Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV )
The next verse is important. God gives us the hope and …
“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.“ (Jeremiah 29:12 NKJV)
In conclusion, God answered the Israelites’ cries but they had no idea that He had. We often don’t know either until we receive the answer. Faith is believing that God has heard and is faithful to answer. Are you willing to hang on. The answer may be there in the next second. God has answered your prayer without a doubt. Hang in there.
Father thank you for Your love for me. Help me to hang on to the hope that You have heard my prayer and that the wheels have been put into motion to see the answer realised.