Are you tired of waiting for your prayers to be answered? Discover how to trust in God’s plan, find peace, and turn your waiting time into a spiritual journey of growth and strength.
When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29
What is it, Lord? A yes, no, or maybe?
When I was a high school freshman, I remember begging my mom to take me and my younger brother to the mall. We wanted a fun place to hang out with friends from school. We knew she wouldn’t say “yes” right away. However, if we continued to press into our mission, our hope was for her to say “maybe.” And if she said that magical word, it would most likely turn into a “yes”.
After strategic questioning, we heard an answer we didn’t want. She said “no.” We then rallied together, like huddled football players, and came up with a different plan. With every ounce of persuasiveness we had in us, we fired off a new appeal. Our goal was to turn her “no” into a “maybe” and eventually into the answer we wanted.
After continued pressure, my mother stopped answering us. She knew what we were up to. I finally came out and asked her why she stopped speaking to us, and she said, “I already gave you my answer, and you two refused to listen.”
Answers we don’t want to hear
Turning to the Bible, we see that Jesus taught His disciples for 40 days about the kingdom of God after His resurrection. Yet, the disciples still asked Jesus, “Will You Now Restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). He provided them with an answer by rejecting their right to know. He said, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7).
One would think after walking with Christ before His death and now after, the disciples would have a good grasp of how the Lord reveals things. It is in His timing and not ours. Just like the disciples, we desire to know more and when we don’t get the answer we want; we continue to ask God in different ways. When we get a “no” answer; we assume our prayers have landed on deaf ears.
God’s timing is perfect
I assure you, God’s answers to our questions are more complex than a simple yes, no, or maybe. God sees what is eternally best for us. Just like our mother knows best. The intricacies of our lives are precious to Him. David tells us in Psalms 37:7a to, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.”
The word “wait” in Hebrew is defined as a verb and it means to wait longingly. This is a tough word to grasp in the age of technology and instant gratification. For example, if I want to know what plants grow best in my climate zone or how late I can order a pizza from our family’s favorite pizzeria, I can get an answer within seconds. But longingly, as to wait in action.
Doesn’t this word sound as if it implies an excessive amount of time? And in the busyness of our days, who has the bandwidth to wait longingly? Our answers do have time limits set by God.
And we must understand that His timeline is perfectly arranged and not set by our standards.
Jesus explains in Luke chapter 12, how we are not to worry about our physical needs to be secure. He states, “ Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” (Luke 12:24)
In our troublesome times, we can create scenarios that would be best for us. However, God’s idea of a “good thing” will differ from ours. This is why, when we bring our requests to the Lord, we should be ecstatically seeking Him. Our faithfulness to trust He knows best will lead to the best fitting answer, though it may not look how we envisioned it.
Why do we need to wait?
Contentment lies in the quietness of the pauses. The never-ending pursuit of more is a tireless battle. Contentment is not a word justified by our current standards of living, but it is one in which God wants for our lives. 1 Timothy 6:6 calls us to a life of contentment: “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Resting is hard when society measures our success by the demands of our workload. God doesn’t ask us to compete with each other. He only asks us to follow Him. Belief in Him will;
- change the outlook of our thoughts.
- will prompt us to go back to the word of God.
- will shift our perspectives.
- and give us the confidence to trust in His will.
While waiting is not the answer we want, it is certainly the answer we need. In this time, let’s press into His presence by spending time in prayer and serving God to the best of our abilities right now. Don’t think past today about what tomorrow will bring. In due time, God will reveal to us His answer.
Do what you can do for God right at this very moment. He is preparing a way for you.
Let’s pray together about God’s timing
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for this time. While it is difficult for us to understand, we know we must seek you daily. Father, we ask that you open our eyes to things you see, give us the ability to change our perspectives, and provide us with greater wisdom of your word. Contentment is not a word we are used to hearing. But we are thankful for this new outlook. Give us the courage to walk faithfully with you.
All this we ask in your precious and Holy name, Jesus. – Amen!
Read More on Jen Schreiner
- How to Get Closer to God When You’re Feeling Distant
- God Rejoices When We Pray – The Power of Prayer
- When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long
- Finding Unshakable Hope in the Waiting
- Releasing Your Expectations into God’s Hands