Why Does God Delay Prayers’ Answers?

By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain

I’m going to share the least favorite verse of everyone:  “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” Habakkuk 2:3 KJV. Who has time for waiting? Who needs a delay to a desperate prayer?


It’s our least favorite because it tells us, sometimes we have to wait. Forever! (Or so it seems.) Have you ever known God to be in a rush for anything?

Have you despaired of having your prayers answered?

Sometimes God tarries.

I’m not asking facetiously. Scripturally, Jesus waited four days to go heal Lazarus. He let him die. Talk about answering a prayer too late.

Jesus let a storm rise on the Sea of Galilee before waking up to calm it. He didn’t run to heal Jairus’s daughter. Abraham and Sarah waited. Hannah, too. Often, God took His time.

And always, His timing was perfect.

We’ve heard of people who get their answers almost instantly. They marry quickly, have kids easily, find a job, a home, success.

But don’t despair if it takes time.

Lately, friends have shared times of waiting for God to hear their cries.

  1. Nineteen times, friends of a writing buddy had been outbid on houses they wanted to purchase. Nineteen times! They waited years. Now? They’ve just signed a contract on the perfect home in the perfect location. None of the other homes would have met their needs like this one.
  2. A friend of mine struggled with infertility. As a result, she adopted a little girl no one else wanted. The child’s health was compromised, her heart damaged. No one expected this child to survive. The adopted infant is now a woman in her twenties. She’s witty, sassy, smart, and evangelical. Her presence blesses everyone she meets. The family who adopted her now has four biological kids, a sweet foster child, and a heart for the rejected.
  3. I waited twenty years after my divorce to find Neil. Because I waited, I have a husband who is my anchor. He gives me the space I need to write and create glass. He’s the calm to my storm. We live in Tennessee–a locale I adore. I’ve met so many new people who love me (and don’t know how nuts I am).

Many more examples exist of those who waited on God.



What have you waited for? How has God answered your prayers? Share your testimony. Your transparency can transform another’s life.


  1. Matt says:

    Good stuff, Carol! So true!

    • Carol McClain says:

      Thank you.

      I’ve been struggling to understand how God responds to us. Sharing what I learn.
      Someday, I’ll have it all together!

  2. Linda says:

    Love this post. Waiting is so hard. God always answers like you said in His time. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no and sometimes wait. Waiting is the hardest thing we ever do. We live in a world where we want it now not have to wait. But we are so blessed when we wait on God.

    • Carol McClain says:

      It is hard–especially when we desperately want a healing for someone we love, or when we see them in any kind of pain. Thank you for being such a faithful friend.

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