I remember when I asked God, “Why do you answer my small requests but don’t seem to answer the really important things?” Then I realized . . . when an acorn takes longer to sprout then a blade of grass, it isn’t because nothing is happening. It’s because something bigger is coming.

Some people say that sometimes God delays an answer until we are ready for it. It is true that God sometimes uses circumstances to discipline us. But that is different from punishment. God moulds us because he loves us. God doesn’t hold back from us because of guilt or blame. He isn’t waiting until we measure up. It is not because we are unworthy that he develops our perseverance, but because our faith is worth more than gold (1 Peter 1:7).

Life is complicated. People are complex. God may need to make a multitude of moves to prepare the way for his answer.

I remember one time I was in a church that was overflowing with children. A wise older man stood with me watching the chaos. “Years ago we had no children here,” he said. “We set a goal of four new young families and began to pray. It felt like we prayed so long for so little results . . . but if God had answered right away, we would have stopped praying at four families.”

Sometimes God delays because he is preparing a bigger answer.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1