So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. (Matthew 26:44)
Yesterday, we looked at the advice of St. Paul who instructed us to offer our concerns to God instead of worrying about them. Sounds simple, but what should we do when our prayer doesn’t get answered right away?
Here’s what I wrote in Give Up Worry For Good…
You may wonder when it’s time to stop praying for a particular intention. Jesus prayed three times using the same words. St. Paul also asked the Lord three times (see 2 Corinthians 12:8) to take away his thorn in the flesh. Is three the magic number? While these are definitely two great examples for us to imitate, there is something they have in common that has nothing to do with the number. Both Jesus and Paul prayed until they got an answer. Paul received a “no” and the promise of grace, while Jesus was sent an angel (see Luke 22:43) to strengthen him. Unless the Holy Spirit tells us otherwise (we realize that what we’re praying for isn’t good for us), we should continue to pray until the Lord responds with a definitive yes or no.
Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged when your prayers aren’t answered right away. Keep praying. God has a plan and will answer in the best way at the right time.
Let not your heart be troubled!