How Long Do You Pray For An Answer?

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2, NKJV

Janet Page serves as associate ministerial secretary for pastoral spouses, families, and prayer.

HAVE YOU WONDERED how long you need to pray about something? I have—many times!

Here’s one thing I’ve learned: if I don’t have peace that I can stop praying, then I need to keep praying until I do.

It was the first Sabbath of camp  meeting. The prayer team met to pray before the meetings started. We prayed for people to be blessed, for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, and for the programming and the technical equipment to work well.

We were just finishing when a pastor abruptly opened the door. “You can’t stop praying!” he said. “We need you to pray for the audiovisual booth. It’s all new equipment, and we can’t connect to the satellite. It’s almost time for us to go on air. Church members all over the conference will be waiting for the worship service.”

We started praying again, pleading with God to make the satellite connection work. After about 15 minutes, one prayer partner said, “I think we have prayed enough. I need to see if my friends have arrived.” Through the years, I have found that people who pray are also people who witness and invite friends to camp meeting.

Everyone stood up to leave. I prayed silently, “Lord, are we done? Do we need to keep praying?” I had no peace about stopping. So, I said, “If anyone still has no peace about this problem, please stay by if you can and keep praying with me.”


Four of us continued to pray. This time, we asked God how we should pray. We felt God was telling us to spend more time in praise and thanksgiving. We stopped asking and started worshiping God, thanking Him for the ways He had worked at previous camp meetings and praising Him for the people who had been converted.

One young man thanked God for the time He used him to answer someone’s prayer at a previous camp meeting. Early on a Sunday, the day after the camp meeting closed, God woke him up. Walking around the campground, he asked God, “Why did you wake me up so early? What do you want me to do?” As he walked by the media booth he heard stressed voices, so he went in.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Our printer is out of ink, and we have hundreds of labels to make for copies of the sermons people ordered. And others will be anxious to buy copies before they leave for their homes,” they answered.

Looking at the printer, the young man said, “I think my printer uses the same kind of ink cartridge.” He ran back to where he was staying and retrieved the cartridge. It worked!

Now, with four of us still praying on another camp meeting morning, we thanked God for His perfect timing. We also started praying for God to send someone to the audiovisual booth who could fix the connection problem.

While we were praying, a man sitting in the audience began to have a strong urge to go to the media booth. He didn’t know why and fought against it for about 15 minutes. People will think I’m crazy, he thought.

But God wouldn’t leave him alone. He told his wife, “I have to go to the audiovisual booth.” She asked why. “I don’t know,” he said.

He knocked on the door of the booth, feeling really uncomfortable. “What do you want?” someone yelled. He opened the door and said, “I know a little about this kind of equipment. Do you need help?” “Yes, we do need help!” they answered. In less than five minutes the problem was solved.

I could tell many more stories of persisting in prayer until we have peace about the problem. I find it is so important to ask God how I should pray. I ask Him what Bible promises I should claim for the situation or the person’s life I am praying for.

In this issue you’ll find several articles with creative ideas for praying and experiencing God. I pray that you will be blessed!