“Take Courage” In That Long-Unanswered Prayer

“And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak” (Matthew 9:20)

It should be encouraging for some of us to ponder anew the circumstances of what is to many a familiar story. This woman had suffered with a hemorrhage “for twelve years.” This was a LONG-term problem that she had. Undoubtedly she had prayed and asked God to take it away, possibly numerous times — with no answer.

This went on not just for a year — which can seem like an eternity when one is ill — then five years, then TEN, and then “twelve years.” Let that sink in for a bit. It must have seemed to her at times as if this prayer would never be answered. But, as we see here, it was!  She touched the fringe of Jesus’ garment; He said to her “Your faith has made you well”; and she was indeed healed — after all of those twelve, long, years!

This story is a reminder to us that God does answer prayers that we have prayed for a long time with no immediate answer.  In fact, I have personally encountered a couple of such answers in recent days:

— The other morning on Facebook, an Indian pastor friend of mine, Ravi Sharma, shared that  he led the wife of another Pastor to faith Christ. Pastor Paul had been praying for his wife’s salvation for SIXTEEN years! 

— While attending the Southern Baptist Convention, I had the opportunity to visit with a Christian brother who serves in a ministry, who had himself rebelled against God and his parents for over 30 years, before coming back to Him in answer to their prayers.  

The bottom line for us?  God does hear and answer long-term prayer requests. Jesus told the woman here in Matthew 9, “Take courage.” (:22)  That may be His word for you today regarding a certain prayer request on your heart. Even if you have been praying for 10, 20, or 30 years, don’t lose heart. Don’t just mumble through “rote” prayers. “Take courage” and persevere fervently in your intercession — your prayer could very well be the next one God answers!  

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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1 Response to “Take Courage” In That Long-Unanswered Prayer

  1. linda says:

    I would like long term prayer for getting a job with benefits that i can do successfully and be able to have financial success both with the job and Financial success with my jewelry business and shop on Esty :Linda’s Jewelrynmore. I would like to have a table, business cards, and to do art shows again. If i get the child care job at children’s nest, pray i would be able to handle the children and job responsiblities well. Pray i do well at the interview at Chuck’s, and the other interviews and jobs i have applied for. Help me get the money for my doctor’s appointment, gas, and biking/exercise/events for this month and continuing on. Continuing help with finanical medical needs -get sleep study, get new primary, and other expenses. I would like prayer that God would heal my mind so i can read and remember and that I would be able to all manner of cognitive and executive function. I want healing of thoughts and dreams and to sleep well and wake up well rested and have a good amount of energy for the day. I would like to lose weight and be able to exercise and do biking events more frequently. I would like to restore my relationship with my friends israel and melinda and communicate with them and don and brooke and Ryan and others frequently and be reconnected and that israel and melinda would have salvation and you would strengthen brooke and don faith. Help Melinda open her heart and have the energy to give to our relationship and other relationships. Restore Josiah and Brian’s faith and restore our relationship. Prayers for salvation for Alex, giles, shannon and lauren too. Help me reconnect to Ryan and redeem him and make his farm prosper but help him get out off pot farming (regenative cannbis cultivation) bless him and amber. Restore Crystal’s faith and desire to go to church as well. Help her get a job and heal her emotionally and mentally as well as be a success in her yarn business on ravelry and esty. help her not be so angry and frustrated and heal her relationship with friends. Help her with computers and that she would not struggle so much with computer techinical problems with her yarn business and help her get the starbuck job or find a job close by that is perfect for her. Help her stop lashing out at me and help her get that job she needs and that people would treat her with respect. Help her have a better relationship with her parents, sister, brother and others. Help Jennifer with her dating relationships, get more hours, and get the education she needs and fulfill her dream of a bakery/children shop. Heal debbie’s from health issues, last year’s concussion and financial needs. Help mom and dad Joyce and Jim have a healthy healed relationship and heal them physically too so mom won’t be in pain and dad’s doctor visits and surgeries will go well.

    Heal my uncle who is going into surgery for a tumor pressing on his brain and eyes. He was finally cleared for surgery and they will be doing the surgery sometime at the end of the month i believe.

    Heal Debbie of Concussion and help her with finances so she can get teeth and other medical health issues taken care of. Help her with her sacred life project and help it succeed where it needs to succeed.

    Pray for Cameron that God would provide provision, protection, and help for him constantly and he would get a stable music gig or series of music gigs and that his soul would prosper and that his faith would grow in abundance and he would have a deep faith in christ. Help him write music, teach, and travel safely and surround him with angels and godly friends and keep trouble and addiction far from him.

    Bring help and Salvation to Alex and Lili and help alex with shawn and help him emotionally and educationally. Thankful lili is gradurating from community college -help her find a job that she can do and bring them both physical bodily healing in their minds, joints, back and their whole lives.

    Help josiah and brian come back to the faith and have their questions answered. Help josiah with his parents and his mom in hospice. Help Josiah in Nursing, exercise, dating relationships, and help him with his music and Go where God wants him to go with his piano lessons, and making his own music and learning music software. Help him make the right choices about the band and all that. Help him be more social and get to hang out with me and Jennifer and have deep meaningful conversations and lots of laughter and happiness and help us not be afraid of roller coasters. (lol) Protect him as he travels and surround him with Godly friends and help him find a good community to be with.

    Pray for my niece Lili to have motivation and do better in school and to care and not to be so self conscious of wearing glasses that she would wear them and get the medical treatment she needs and that Lisa would be able to help lilly care about her self, her schooling, and process things better.

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