Prayer is a funny thing. Have you ever wondered whether it was your prayer that got answered, or whether it would have worked out that way anyway? Mmmm. We all pray for our kids. Some turn out good, and others still need a whole lot more prayer.
Abraham was desperate for God to bless his son Ishmael. (Genesis 17 v 18 – 20) God tells him, “I have heard you: I will surely bless him.” Then he goes on to speak the blessing over him, that he would be the father of twelve rulers, and a great nation. Hold on though, God had already promised something similar to Hagar in Genesis 16 v 10. It was already in God’s heart to bless Ishmael!
I am no theologian, but it seems to me that sometimes God has a plan, which he shares with us. Because it is now on our hearts too, we pray and ask God to do this thing. Of course God will answer, because it is what he wants anyway. Serious win/win situation – God gets what he wants, we get what we want, the situation turns out the best possible (otherwise it wouldn’t have been on God’s heart to start off with), and best of all, God gets to spend some time with us, him sharing his heart with us, and us sharing our hearts with him.
Naturally we all want our kids to love and serve the Lord, so we pray for them. But that is exactly what God wants for them!
There is a line in the Lord’s Prayer – “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” which I think is saying pretty much that. If God has put something on your heart to pray, then he wants it to happen. Of course there is the issue of free will, and God will not override a person’s deliberate choice. But maybe the delay is just so he can have you draw a little closer to ask!