Do you know the difference between going to a fast food restaurant and going to the DMV? At one of those places, you’re going to have to wait a while. I recently had to get my drivers license renewed. As I looked around the waiting room, no one was upset. Everyone was waiting patiently. We all knew going in that we were going to have to wait, even if we were in a hurry or had other things to accomplish that morning.
When we pray though, we treat God like the drive thru at a fast food restaurant. We want it now, we want it quick and we get mad if it takes longer than a minute. Good things take time, and our answers to prayer are often complicated with a lot of moving pieces. When we pray for things, we should think of ourselves as going into a waiting room. If God answers quickly, what a blessing! If not, wait patiently and trust His timing. He’s working in your favor.
Here are some Bible verses on waiting for God.
1. Listen to my cry for help, my God and king! I pray to you, O Lord; you hear my voice in the morning; at sunrise I offer my prayer and wait for your answer.
Psalm 5:2-3 GNT
2. Wait for and confidently expect the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the LORD.
PSALM 27:14 AMP
3. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
Lamentations 3:26 NLT
4. And I myself will send upon you what my Father has promised. But you must wait in the city until the power from above comes down upon you.
Luke 24:49 GNT
5. But those who wait for the LORD [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.
ISAIAH 40:31 AMP
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
One of the lessons my son is having the hardest time with is learning to wait when he has a question. My wife and I will be in a conversation, and he will walk up, interrupt us, and ask a question. We will tell him we will answer when we are done talking, but that’s often difficult for him when he has a question. I’m teaching him to walk up and just put his hand on mine when he has a question. I told him that when he does that, I’ll acknowledge him and then answer him when I can.
I wish I could say that works all the time, but it doesn’t. It’s as hard for him to wait for an answer as it is for us as adults to wait for one. When we have a pressing need or question, we’ll bombard God with questions and demand an answer immediately. We call it faith when we pray that way, but I wonder what God calls it. One of the hardest lessons any one of us has to learn is how to approach God and to ask for what it is that we want or need, especially when we feel we need it urgently.
They say that patience is a virtue, but we often lack it in waiting for God to answer our prayers. In Psalm 69:13, David prayed a tough, but wise prayer. He said, “But as for me, I will pray to you, Lord; answer me, God, at a time you choose” (GNT). He was telling God that he wasn’t expecting Him to operate on his timetable. He was willing to wait for God to answer on His. That’s a hard thing to pray and to do.
This verse challenges me because I’m not there yet. In my prayers, I’m like my son trying to get an answer. I don’t want to wait for God to finish what He’s doing. I want my answers right now. If David was a man after God’s own heart, and he had the ability to pray this way, i believe it’s something we all can learn to do. Instead of trying to force God in our timeline, we can start asking God to give us the answers to our prayers in His. I’ll just need a little help learning to wait.