Recently, I opened a checking account for our new ministry here in Portland, Oregon. I had already opened a personal account with the same account manager, so he knew from our previous conversations what I am planning on doing for the Lord in the city. As we were going through this second setup process, the manager kept apologizing for asking me many and detailed questions. "These are routine," he said, "Even though most of these don't apply, I have to ask you them anyway."
Of course I completely understood. Much of business and politics is made up of going through formal, mandated procedures. I also knew that without carrying the lengthy interview out, I would not be able to have an account. Protocol is important!
The same, it seems to me, holds true for prayer. There are certain requirements that must be met before spiritual strongholds will come down: heart conditions, timing issues, obedience follow-through, etc.. Daniel seems the best example of this: although he was heard the first day he prayed, it took 20 more days of crying out to the Lord to receive his breakthrough. The old prophet had to stay on his knees until everything in the heavenlies was right and ready.
I know there is much I could say along this line; but the point is, we can't be impatient in prayer. Things are happening and processes are being enacted without our knowledge of how or how far along they are. We must continue believing in the guidance of the Spirit and trusting that when we pray in Jesus' name, Father IS listening and IS answering.
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