The Lord Jesus gave us some real words of wisdom in Mark 11:24, possibly one of the greatest mysteries ever revealed unto mankind, when He said, ”Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
 The question I hear most often is; How long do I have to believe I receive?  I’ve believed for a long time, and still it hasn’t happened.  That’s an easy one!  You believe until you receive, whether it’s 30 seconds or 30 years.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to pass the time praising God, giving Him thanks for what you’ve asked Him for.  Recently I received an answer to a prayer that took 16 years to manifest.  Did I enjoy all those years of waiting?  No, but I’m glad I didn’t give up!   When it looked like nothing was happening, it was, I just couldn’t see it.  Then out of the blue here came my answer.  So many years passed and the devil continually tried to talk me out of my desire, however, I’m not a quitter.  And neither was the Lord Jesus.
 There are people I’ve prayed for that are still waiting to receive what it is they’ve asked the Lord for.  “O Lord, how long?”  Till you believe.  But Lord, I believe.  Then why don’t you have it?  I dunno, I was hoping you could tell me.  Hmmmm, let’s see, My word says, when ye pray…have ye prayed?  Well sure, Lord, I pray every day for it.  But, My word says when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  Then, why aren’t you keeping your word, Lord?  My child, when you prayed, when did you believe you received; the first time, or the three hundredth time you prayed?  Well, I thought I believed the first time, but when it didn’t happen….Ah, my dear child, when did I tell you to think? I said “believe”, there IS a difference, you know…  But Lord, I’ve been taught to keep asking if it doesn’t come, you know, like Jesus told in the parable about the unrighteous judge…So then, you think by your continual begging you’ll wear me down?  I said YES the first time you asked, didn’t you read my Word?  Uh…well….yeah…Then when are you going to believe me?
 And so it goes, another excuse bites the dust.  Sometimes we just fail to get it through our thick skull that God actually DOES love us and wants us to have our prayers answered.  But there are times that our time frame does not agree with God’s.  “Later” is not “No”.  It’s just “later”.  But when it comes to things like salvation and healing, the answer is never “later” or “no”.  It’s NOW because the Lord Jesus already paid the price for them, and if we don’t have either of them, it isn’t because God is putting us off.  It’s always because we are failing to believe.  People have told me it’s cruel to tell someone who needs healing that if they aren’t seeing their healing that it’s because of their unbelief.  What would you have me do, lie to them?  God told us through numerous scriptures that we must believe in order to receive our prayers answered.  The sooner we get our unbelief out of the way, the sooner we can have our prayers answered.
 Often, the devil tries to plant seeds of doubt in your mind, perhaps telling you that God said no, or that you are not worthy to have your prayers answered, or maybe that God is mad at you.  Well listen, if God was mad at you, all the lightning rods on earth could not keep Him from zapping you if He wanted to.  Satan himself will hinder you sometimes so you will get angry and blame God for the delay in your prayers being answered.  Satan can’t hinder God, but he can sure hinder you if you let him.  That’s where patience becomes a virtue, being able to stand firm in faith and not let the devil put doubt in your mind when things don’t happen as YOU think they should.  Revelation 2:7 says, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.  Part of being an overcomer is having staying power.
   Sometimes things don’t happen instantly in the Kingdom of God.  Well, let me qualify that; they happen instantly, the instant God intends them to happen, but when we think they should happen doesn’t always match when God says they should.  Wouldn’t it be easier if God just gave us a watch set to HIS time?  Another part of being an overcomer is being able to discern the difference between when God is saying “later” and when the devil is hindering you.  The results are the same, you’re still waiting unto manifestation.  But when God says “later”, you’ll get it.  When the devil puts you off, you’ll NEVER get it.  Oh, you’ll still keep wishing and hoping you’ll get it “someday”, but the devil is a thief, and whatever it is you want, the devil will try to steal it from you.  And if you hear “someday”, know for sure it’s from the devil, because “someday” is not on any calendar I’ve ever seen. 

   The secret to success in answered prayer is this: believe you receive when you pray, it isn’t believe you receive after you receive.  Search the Word of God for what it is you need, and if you find it, then you can have it if you meet the qualification.  What’s the qualification?  You must believe.  How long?  Till you have it.  If the time frame between “believe” and “receive” seems long to you, then go back and check on the “believe” part.  Better yet, settle that “when ye pray”, and the “receive” part won’t be far behind.
 But, if it takes long, don’t give up.  You don’t have to keep asking, God isn’t deaf, He heard you the FIRST time you asked.  Believe that you receive RIGHT NOW, but be prepared to wait a lifetime without wavering if you have to.  Show God you mean business, that you won’t be moved by a delay, for I believe that goes a long way in getting you put at the head of the line.  Remember Joshua and Caleb, they waited forty years to inherit their land, but they never gave up, and they just wouldn’t quit.  Good things come to people who refuse to quit.
 There was a story about a man who determined to swim the English Channel.  He trained hard, and was well prepared the day the event came.  However, it was very windy and foggy, the water was cold, and he swam valiantly behind a boat which went just ahead of him to pick him up if he couldn’t make it.  Finally after swimming a long time he became exhausted and when he was unable to see the shoreline, he gave up and got in the boat. Just then, the boat touched shore. In only six more feet, he would have succeeded.  But because he couldn’t see the finish line, he gave up just before his victory was won.  When we pray, we can’t see the finish line, and that’s how the devil defeats us.  Know this; when the doubts become the strongest, that’s when victory is right close at hand.  We need staying power, and that comes from one thing, the words of Jesus…BELIEVE YE RECEIVE THEM, AND YE SHALL HAVE THEM.