Philippians 4:6-7, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
Have you ever prayed about something that was really important to you, but as time went on and you continued to not see answers, you stopped praying about it?
There was someone I had met a year or two back. He stood out to me ever since I met him, but I never really got to know him.
A month and half ago, I saw him again at my job, and I began praying for the opportunity to get to know him. For two and half weeks, I wrote his name in my prayer journal and continued praying that God would open a door and give me an opportunity to get to know him.
As the days went by and I continued to not see this person again, I eventually gave up and decided I didn't want to keep praying for a mystery man. After all, it had been two and half weeks, and I hadn't seen any progress. For all I knew, God's answer was no.
The weeks continued to go by, and this prayer that I had prayed about daily for a couple weeks eventually was something I pushed aside and didn't concern myself with anymore.
Exactly a month after I had seen this person and began praying for him, I saw him again. It wasn't seeing him again that stood out to me the most. What prompted me to write this devotional is what he said to me when I saw him again.
He came into my job, walked straight over to me, and said, "Taylor, I've been coming in here looking for you. The people you work with probably think I'm crazy because I'll walk through the door, look around, not see you, and then walk out. But, I've been coming in because I really am excited about your book and am serious about wanting to buy one from you." After he talked to me, he left. He came into the store simply to talk to me about my book. I couldn't believe it!
When he left, what went through my mind was this: "I stopped praying too soon."
All along when I had been praying, God heard my prayers and was working behind the scenes. This person had been looking for me, and I just wasn't at work when he'd come in. I had no clue until that night, but God was working behind the scenes all along.
I'm still waiting to see this person again to give him one of my books, but this time I've realized that I need to not stop praying. I don't know what God's answer to my prayers will be, but until I feel I'm released from praying about it, I'm going to continue lifting this prayer up to God and trust that He will answer one way or another.
My encouragement to you is to not stop praying about something simply because you think it's not doing any good anyway. Perhaps you've prayed for someone to come to know Christ for years. You may think those prayers are monotonous, but they're not. Keep on praying. God hears. He is working on your behalf.
Something God's shown me with praying, though, is that I have to release those prayers to Him and not hang onto them once I've prayed. I'll pray for this person once a day, but after that I have to believe God's heard me, and I go about my life. If I dwell on that prayer and become all-consumed by it, that's bad in itself. So pray, thank God for hearing you, then leave that prayer with God. After that, you will experience God's peace.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Something You revealed to me was that I had stopped praying too soon. All along, You were working behind the scenes, and I just didn't know it. Lord, I don't want to stop praying too soon. I believe that You have heard me and are answering. As this desire is still on my heart, I will continue to pray and release that prayer up to You to answer the way You know best. Thank You for hearing me. I pray above anything else that Your will is done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.