At the right time, [God] will answer your prayers.Isaiah 49:8, NCV
Notice it doesn’t say
- Immediately upon request, or
- On your timetable, or
- He may answer your prayers.
Instead, God chooses the time. He’s never early, and He’s never late; “at the right time” your prayers WILL be answered. And “the right time” is when God says it is.
Doesn’t knowing that your prayers will be answered kind of settle your heart and calm your mind? If you’re anything like me, you yearn for your prayers to be answered right.this.very.second. In fact, what you really expected was for them to have been answered yesterday.
But the longer it takes for God to answer my prayers, the more I find it tests my heart about what it is I’m praying for. Before you know it, I find myself tweaking this, and refining that…quite a few times…because my initial prayer requests were shallow, vague, and lacked spiritual maturity in believing just how good our God is.
You see, when you wait on God, you have a chance to prove to Him that what you’re praying for, is something you really want. Waiting gives you an opportunity to be persistent, and make your petitions known to Him over, and over, and over again.
I don’t know about you, but I know I can tell when someone really wants something by the number of times they bring it up.
Like, if a girlfriend mentions we should plan a girl’s trip, yet never mentions it again, then I find myself chalking it up to a casual idea that sounds good, and seems fun, yet she probably wasn’t that serious about it. On the other hand, if she mentions it several times, pokes and prods me, and goes so far as to present me with destinations, possible dates, and estimated costs, I’m suddenly convinced that it’s something she really, really wants to do!
It’s the persistence of her request that convinces me.
It’s no different, too, when it comes to my kids. It never fails, immediately after dinner, they claim to be hungry. I immediately think, “There is NO way they’re hungry!” after remembering all they ate. So I conduct a secret little mom experiment. Usually, if I distract them and create excitement about something else, oftentimes they “forget” they’re hungry. If, however, after falling for my ploy of playing a family game they continue to mention they’re hungry, well then I feel more assured that they, in fact, must be hungry. That, or I guess the game we played didn’t soothe their boredom 😉
It’s the persistence of their request that convinces me.
So tonight, pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6). Use this time of waiting to test your own heart about what you’re praying for. If your prayers aren’t specific, add detail. Use this time to dream big, big dreams. Really imagine living your life with your prayers answered. Then, give Him all the glory when, not if, He does.