Waiting and Prayer

Have you ever noticed how much of our lives are spent waiting?

We wait in doctors’ offices. We wait for a package to show up in the mail. We wait to be seated at a popular restaurant. We wait to get married and we wait in patience for anger to pass.

Sometimes the waiting game is extremely stressful. Like when we’re out of work and waiting for somebody to respond to the job applications we’ve filled out. Waiting can be cumbersome when deciding if your current employment is the right thing for you. Or when we’re waiting for the medical lab to return a biopsy report. Or when we’re waiting for a wayward child to return home.

The same can be said when reading the Bible. While reading Scripture on the YouVersion Bible app, I highlight verses or passages that stand out. When finished, I go back and ponder on whats highlighted and think, why did I highlight this? What does God want me to get from this? Why must I pause and reflect here? Is there a specific application for my life?

I admit that finding something striking in Scripture can be a bit subjective. But something striking is not so cut and dry. It’s much more personal. It requires not just an open eye, but also an ear that’s listening hard for the voice of the Holy Spirit.

I am currently waiting for God to show up in some situations in my life. Stuff I’ve prayed about. I’m not the most patient waiter in the world but I remember that God is sovereignly working out His purposes for my life — even though it sometimes seems like He’s taking too long or has forgotten me.

Thinking about waiting and patience reminds me about the importance of prayer. I make prayer part of my daily routine thanking God for a good nights sleep, thanking Him throughout the day for the little things, and thanking Him at night and asking for forgiveness.

Jesus’ tells us that prayer is not intended to wear  God out with our petitions till He finally caves in to stop us from bothering Him. Jesus wants to encourage us that God DEEPLY CARES about His children who cry out to Him. He is listening.

God is not delaying for no reason. He will come to our help speedily – though from our perspective it might not seem that way. But in His infinite wisdom, He won’t delay an answer for one second longer than necessary for our good.

So pray always and do not lose heart. You may have prayed for a loved one’s salvation for years and years and see no change yet. Don’t give up. Don’t stop praying. Reflect on your prayers and your life. You might be surprised to see that God is already at work.

There are some things I’m praying for that seem impossible from a human point of view.  I don’t know if they are God’s will, but I know that God could do what I ask if He so desires. Nothing is impossible for Him. So until He makes His will clear to me, I’m going to keep asking again and again and again, though it seems like nothing is changing.

God’s answer to your prayers could be just around the corner. He may answer your 20 years of prayer today. Don’t think God doesn’t care or doesn’t hear just because nothing has changed yet. He hears your prayers, Psalms 65:2 and 77:1. The prayer of the upright is powerful and effective, though it may not feel powerful, James 5:16-18. Not one prayer is wasted. God hears our every sigh. He doesn’t tire of us asking, but wants us to bring our requests to Him. If Jesus tells us to not lose heart, and pray always, it’s because He intends to answer our prayers.

Two things to conclude with: Keep asking, keep thanking, keep hoping. Don’t give up.

What are you waiting for?

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” —Luke 18:1-8

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