You Aren’t the Answer to Your Own Prayers (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 261)
Psalm 37:7a (NLT)
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.
What do we tend to do most when we’re waiting? We grumble, complain, and murmur about how long the line is, why there is so much traffic on a Monday, how disorganized management is, or how much time it is taking to get our order ready. We don’t really mind waiting so long as we can complain about the waiting period.
But God has a different activity for believers to do when we are waiting. God wants us to not only wait and to wait patiently, but to be still in his presence while we wait. Waiting makes us restless. We want to do something; we want people to hurry up. We rush to get to work, to pick up the kids from school, even to go to church. But we take very little time or opportunity to just be still.
When you pray, be certain that God hears your prayer. It isn’t at all a matter of feeling or even a matter of seeing something. The point is to believe and to pray in faith that God will not only hear and answer your prayer. When you pray, be willing to wait. God doesn’t work in the right now. He works in his own time. God wants to know if he can trust us not to try to make things happen on our own.
He is in the business of answering prayer. God told Abraham that he was going to have a son. Abraham didn’t believe God’s words. Looking at his present situation and that of his wife, it looked impossible. It wasn’t going to happen at all according to Abraham. But God works in his own time and in his own way. God didn’t want Abraham to be the answer to his prayers. He wanted Abraham to trust. But Abraham went about answering his own prayers in his own way and totally messed up.
Isn’t that just like some of us? God promises us that something good is going to happen, that he’s going to answer our prayers, that he will bring our dreams and desires to pass, but we don’t believe him, or maybe we do believe him, but we just can’t wait for him to make it all happen. So while we’re praying to God for a miracle, we’re busying ourselves trying to perform our own miracle. And God is sitting in heaven with his hands tied because his creatures are trying to be the answer to their own prayers.
If you are certain of nothing else about God, you can be sure of two things. God hears every single prayer that is prayed. And he will answer every prayer in his own time, will, and way. When we try to pull off an answer to our own prayers, we mess up royally. But when we let God do it, patiently waiting on him without complaining, being still in his presence and listening for his voice, he answers in ways that we never imagined possible. Stop working; start waiting. Stop rushing through; start being still. God will answer your requests if you just be patient while he works.
“Wait for the Lord. Behave yourself manfully, and be of good courage. Do not be faithless, but stay in your place and do not turn back.”
— Thomas a Kempis