How can I keep faith while waiting on God to answer prayers?
Growing up, I often asked myself impatiently, “How can I keep faith while waiting on God to answer prayers?” As I have grown older (and hopefully wiser), God has shown me through His Word how to wait on His timing.
Only God can see the big picture. He has planned out everything to intertwine perfectly in the end. Part of His plan includes working through our prayers. We pray, yet we doubt He hears us. He has promised, however, to hear His children.
Although He hears us, He doesn’t always give the response we expect or the answer on our timetable. I prayed twelve years for my son to return to the Lord. Every day, I prayed, believing God heard and would answer. My sovereign God used those twelve years to work in my son’s heart and bring him back into the fold. In a human’s eyes, twelve years seem an awfully long time to wait. In God’s eyes, it is a breath (2 Peter 3:8). His time is not our time.
When waiting on God to answer prayers, we must believe God will answer. Unbelief is the biggest obstacle to overcome in praying and waiting. “But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).
While waiting on God to answer prayers, take stock of your blessings. Are you breathing? Then, rejoice in life! Do you see the blue sky or even a cloudy one? Thank God for the ability to see. Can you hear the sound of the wind blowing through the trees or a child laughing? Praise God for hearing! Turn the wait into a treasure hunt for the blessings that we often take for granted. For remembrance, keep a prayer journal, listing all your prayers with the date of request. Frequently lift up the requests to God, and record the date you received an answer.
Never forget that answers come in God’s time -- not ours. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” God has promised His own a hopeful future. Rest in God’s faithfulness. He will answer you.
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