“I called him, but he gave me no answer.” Song of Solomon 5:6
Prayer sometimes tarries, like a petitioner at the gate, until the King comes forth to fill her bosom with the blessings which she seeks. The Lord, when he has given great faith, has been known to try it by long delayings. He has suffered his servants’ voices to echo in their ears as from a brazen sky. They have knocked at the golden gate, but it has remained immovable, as though it were rusted upon its hinges. Like Jeremiah, they have cried, “You have covered yourself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.” Thus have true saints continued long in patient waiting without reply, not because their prayers were not vehement, nor because they were unaccepted, but because it so pleased him who is a Sovereign, and who gives according to his own pleasure. If it pleases him to bid our patience exercise itself, shall he not do as he wills with his own! Beggars must not be choosers either as to time, place, or form. But we must be careful not to take delays in prayer for denials: God’s long-dated bills will be punctually honoured; we must not suffer Satan to shake our confidence in the God of truth by pointing to our unanswered prayers. Unanswered petitions are not unheard. God keeps a file for our prayers — they are not blown away by the wind, they are treasured in the King’s archives. This is a registry in the court of heaven wherein every prayer is recorded. Tried believer, the Lord has a tear-bottle in which the costly drops of sacred grief are put away, and a book in which your holy groanings are numbered. By and by, your suit shall prevail. Can you not be content to wait a little? Will not your Lord’s time be better than your time? By and by he will comfortably appear, to your soul’s joy, and make you put away the sackcloth and ashes of long waiting, and put on the scarlet and fine linen of full fruition.