Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sometimes the answer is "Wait!"

Do you have big prayers? The kind that can only be answered by God?

I do.

I've seen big prayers answered, too. I personally know the power of prayer. I've seen it at work in my life, my marriage, my family. I've seen lives changed through the power that comes from petitioning the throne of God. I've seen people cured of cancer. I've seen marriages on the brink of divorce renewed. It is amazing to know that God--the God of the Universe!!--is listening when we pray with believing, thankful hearts! (Phillipians 4:6-7)

There are prayers I've been praying for some time, however, that have not been answered. Some involve me, some involve others. Has God heard these prayers? Yes. Just because I haven't received the answers I long for doesn't mean He isn't listening. And for most of those prayers I don't believe His answer is "No" but rather "Wait."

There are three women in the Old Testament whose stories have truly impacted me in the past few months. These women each wanted a child, but they were barren. They went years without becoming a mother. I am sure their hearts cried out in prayer many, many times over those years. Even their husband's prayed on their behalf. Did God hear them? Yes. Were they blessed with a child right away? No. Why? Because...

...God's answer wasn't "No" but rather "Wait."

Sarah had to wait for Isaac. (Genesis 21)

Rachel had to wait for Jacob and Esau. (Genesis 25:21)

Hannah had to wait for Samuel. (Samuel 1)

I am guilty of expecting God to answer my prayers as soon as they pass over my lips. After all, the Bible tells me that if I will delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)

But God is not on our timetables. We are on His! We were created by Him and for Him. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us being born at this specific place and time in history.

Each of those babies had a specific time to be born. They had a specific purpose to fulfill. God wasn't punishing Sarah and Rachel and Hannah. He was simply teaching them--and us through their stories--to wait on God.

I am not praying for a baby (although I did years ago), but the answers to my prayers have specific purpose in God's kingdom just as those babies did. I'm waiting for a number of prayers to be God's time. I've had to let go of my timetable and release these prayers to Him, because He knows best. God sees my entire life spread out before Him. He knows exactly when the right time is to answer those prayers.

Are you waiting for God to answer your prayers?

Rest in knowing that others before you--Sarah, Rachel, Hannah and more--waited, too. And look what amazing things God did...

...when it was time!

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