If there is anything I have learned in my life, it is that I cannot give up after trying something just once. If I had done that, I would never have learned to ride a bicycle. I wouldn’t have learned to cook spaghetti. I would have never received my CDL. And I most definitely would not be where I am today as a writer. But most importantly, I would not be where I am today in my walk with Jesus. Honestly, how many of our patient prayers truly get answered the way we ask? Or in the timing we ask?
Understanding God’s Timing
Timing is one of the most important things we must come to grips with as believers. Heh. It is the most important thing to understand even as unbelievers because from the outside looking in, people may have a genie in a bottle concept of prayer. Unfortunately, or rather many times, to our benefit, this is not the case. Don’t understand? Let me explain a bit about God’s timing versus ours.
Take your drive to work. You’re running late. The car in front of you is driving a bit slower than you would like him to. You want to pass him but can’t. He comes to a light that turns yellow and he stops. You get frustrated because both of you could’ve made it through the light before it turned red. But as you stop, you see an 18-wheeler whizz through the intersection. Your heart begins to race because you realize that if the two of you ‘beat the light,’ you would’ve been hit by that truck. Coincidence? I don’t think so. It is something I like to call God-incidences.
Life and God’s Timing
Life acts the same way. Only it can take much longer to get there. Whether in our attempts to accomplish a task or the prayers we communicate to God; He has a plan for your life, and no forcing the issue will get us there any faster. This is a good thing, though. But why do we have to wait if these blessings are such a good thing for us? Well, the answer will vary from person to person.
First, there will always be three answers to prayer: Yes, no, and wait. The ‘no’s,’ well, we just need to pray about how to handle and understand God’s reasoning. The ‘yes’s,’ we need to remember to praise Him for his faithfulness and give him the recognition He deserves. The ‘waits’ are the difficult ones. We may never know why God asks us to wait. We may get delayed revelation, like the red-light runner. And there may be times when God will show us what we need to do to bridge the gap. But this takes patient prayer.
How Do We Bridge the Gap of Patient Prayer?
Patient prayer is not a bargaining tool God uses to keep us in line. It is a way of molding us to become better people, better Christians, and better at focusing on the things that are important. Patient prayer is a learning process. Like me learning to drive an 18-wheeler. (No, I wasn’t the one blowing the red light earlier) I didn’t learn to handle a 40-ton vehicle overnight. It was a process. I had to become habitual with it. So is seeking God to help us through the things we desire in prayer.
Patient prayer also has much to do with timing, which means waiting. Cooking also requires a lot of waiting, especially pasta. You pull it out too soon, you will have crunchy spaghetti. Bleh. It requires perfect timing. Such is the answer to prayer; such is God. You may get your answer tomorrow, next week, or like some of the Biblical men, years later. For me, I began my prayer to be a full-time writer in 2016. It came to fruition in 2019. But that is a whole story in itself. I’ve written a GODTV blog about it. You can read that testimony here. It took three years of intense patient prayer, but it was answered. Just not in a way I expected.
What Happens When Patient Prayer is Answered
I have built a social media following along with my publishing career. One phrase I consistently tell my followers who seek success is to Keep on Keeping On. It is a message of perseverance in the middle of rejection after rejection from different publishers. Being a writer is not easy, but it is rewarding when you find your success. The same can be said about prayer. Patient prayer is not easy. We can feel that we are praying to a ceiling of brass and that God is nowhere to be found. But as Abraham found waiting for a son, Joseph found in prison, and the disciples found waiting in the inner room; the power of God is on its way.
We can find that same power. It is accessible to us. I discovered it when God guided me to learn to drive that 18-wheeler, then to ultimately, the path of full-time writing. He can answer your prayers. Big or small, He cares. We just need to persevere and keep on keeping on. This is not just in prayer. If you have a God-calling, and you are struggling with it, don’t give up. The struggle is part of the journey to perfection. If you have such a journey, comment below. I would love to hear about it and share in your joy or pray with you if you are struggling. God bless you, friends.