PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• As much as I love and embrace the truth of “Shop Small” and “Shop Local,” I also love the convenience of Amazon. They make shopping so easy! With the added bonus of shopping in my pajamas at any time of day, WIN! Plus all those notifications… they tell me when my order has shipped, the estimated delivery time, and when my order arrived at my house.
Amazon is the definitive illustration of our microwave culture. You’ve likely heard me say it before: Our world wants it hot, fast, and now. After all, no one should be expected to wait a full 30 seconds for their burrito to heat up!
That microwave mentality has trickled over to our prayer lives. And I’m just as guilty as the next person. I have tapped my foot at God and wondered why Amazon can tell me exactly when my order will arrive, so why won’t God tell me when He’s going to answer my prayer?!
And when I ask “When?” with the whine that could rival a whole choir of five-year-olds waiting for ice cream, God gently reminds me that He is not obligated to my timetable, and He asks me to 1) trust and 2) keep praying.
But more than that, I have a few things to consider. Am I praying my will or God’s will? Is my prayer request selfish in nature, or do I truly want what God wants more than I want what I want? And do I have some kind of unresolved sin that I need to address? We’ll talk about that question another day, but let’s visit the first two.
James 4:3 ESV warns us of selfish prayers. It says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” But then, we have the promise of 1 John 5:14-15 ESV, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
If we know that we have prayed for God’s will above our own, then we know He will answer. Because He’s God, He won’t answer early and He won’t answer too late. But He will answer at exactly the right moment. And if we’re genuinely seeking His will above our own, that’s okay. We trust God and therefore, we trust His timing.
Amazon may give the illusion that they are rushing to meet our every need. But unlike Amazon, God doesn’t have a profit center He’s worried about. His care for us actually cost Him the life of His own Son so that He could purchase and redeem us.
Since He paid so high a price, the least we can do is give Him a little patience. As it says in Romans 5:8 ESV, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” With that in mind, it’s not unreasonable to wait for His timing.
And that is a notification we need to share with the world, even as we wait for God to answer our prayers.
Today, as you pray, thank God for hearing our prayers. Thank Him that He always answers at exactly the right time. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray when you don’t feel like praying and ask Him to give you the trust you need to wait. Ask the Holy Spirit to equip you with the courage to tell others about Jesus and what He’s done for you during your season of waiting.