SAMUEL Rutherford (1600 – 1661) delivers two concepts entwined in one, regarding God’s immediate answer to our prayer.
“How shall we know when our prayers are answered? Hannah knew it by peace after prayer.”
“Patience to wait on God until the vision speaks is also an answer.”
One is the provision of peace, a soul-kind-of-knowing without understanding, and the other is the provision of patience, which is faith enough to wait as long as required for the promise to be delivered.
Both patience and peace are attainments. This is how we know our prayers are heard and answered. God’s answer to our prayers is nothing truly about ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as if God’s Word is to be like ours, simply our ‘yes’ being yes, and our ‘no’, no. Perhaps God doesn’t even communicate on normal human terms, but responds to our groans, and from groans come His glory. But God gives us something tangible, if that can be said spiritually, as we pray in faith, and in the humility of surrender.
Peace comes as an answer to a prayer prayed faithfully, in trust that God is able, and, if He wills it, He will bring our soul-stated wishes — which we may have no iota of an idea about until He reveals them — to pass.
Patience is that incredible tenacity that makes a trial seem easier than it should be; a grace given to us to endure the trial we couldn’t imagine persisting through in our own strength. God proves real and present because of the power we experience that is beyond us. And that is the fruit of prayer.
God answers prayers powerfully through His provision of peace and patience. Such attainments mean we can leave what we prayed for to Him.
How utterly good God is that He answers our prayers in the immediate sense by giving us patience and peace.