“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy” (James 5:11).

Receiving something from God by faith—believing in the answer with perfect assurance that is has already been given—is not necessarily the experience of the answer or the actual possession of what we have asked for. At times, there may be a considerable wait involved. In other cases, the believer may enjoy immediately what he has asked. Of course, in the case of having to wait for the answer, we have a greater need for faith and patience. We need this faith to be effective intercessors, for the grace to pray earnestly and persistently for the lost or needy around us. We must hold fast the divine assurance that as surely as we believe, we will receive.

If you do not immediately see an increase in your desire to pray, do not allow circumstances to hinder or discourage you. Even without any change in feelings, you have accepted the spiritual gift by faith. The Holy Spirit may seem distant, but you may count on Him to pray through you, even if it is only a sigh. In due time, you will again become aware of His full presence and power.

Ask God. Then believe that you have received what you have asked. If you still find it difficult to do this, state your belief on the basis of His Word. “Believe that you have received.” Begin with the faith you have, even if it is weak. Step by step, be faithful in prayer and intercession. The more simply you hold to this truth and expect the Holy Spirit to work, the more surely will this Word become true for you.

Adapted from Power in Prayer by Andrew Murray