Immediate answers to prayer aren’t necessarily the biggest shows of God’s power.
Faithfulness shows the most over time, and when you wait for something for such a long time and then find your waiting faithfully answered, the feeling of love is mind-numbing. You had begun to think that your request may have been unimportant or forgotten, or that it was a misplaced request not seeking God’s will.
But God’s artistry of delay is too spectacular.
His delay requires a lot of our faith in His follow-through. Faith when you are anxious is believing that the answer is not late; it is timely.
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. (Matt 21:22)
In fact, you should mentally expect the answer to come, and arrange your heart for its imminent arrival, even if it is a distant imminence.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:24)
Meanwhile, expecting the answer to come does not mean you stop praying. And continuing to pray about the same thing does not mean you are not having faith or not ‘believing that you have received it’ – it tests your heart’s desire for this, reminds it to desire this without giving up, and keeps you aware and on the lookout.
I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. (Romans 1:10)
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
[Stand therefore…] praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… (Eph 6:18)
Finally, God’s work is mostly a big long epic project and it would be rather silly of us to expect a single package as answer and gift for our prayers.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment… (Phil 1:9)
God has been faithful, and so I must assert it!