When God Answers Prayers

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Sunday, I went to a friends church for their baby dedication. While it was similar to my own, I believe it’s always refreshing to hear the message through someone else’s interpretation.

During the sermon, the preacher made a comment that I’ve been contemplating all week, though it isn’t the first time I’ve heard this saying, it’s the first time I’ve listened.

“God answers prayers in three ways… yes, no, wait”

We claim that we pray and then we get frustrated when we can’t hear God, but how accurate is that. Do I only listen to God when His answer is yes?

What about when God says “no”. Do I trust him there? Sometimes… usually after a “pouting” fest but I almost always can see that there is something else He is working towards in that moment.

But when His answer is “wait”…

We live in a world where we can order anything we want off the internet and have it at our house within 48 hours. We have self checkouts because some of us (me) get frustrated when cashiers aren’t bagging fast enough.

I am constantly setting new goals, making new plans… always pretending like I run the show and God is my trusty side-kick.

I don’t understand the concept of waiting, and I struggle with what to do in the wait. I tend to make more plans, think of bigger goals, and try “out smarting” God’s plan for me.

So, what should we do when the answer is “wait”? Here are a few key areas I am trying to focus on in this season (to be fair… this season is going on year two).

  1. Keep Praying

I tend to forget that God is still there during the “wait” season. If I don’t feel as though He answered my prayers, why should I keep praying? Praying is the number one thing we can do to reconnect ourselves to God. We should be doing so endlessly, relentlessly, daily. Do you struggle with praying in the wait? I encourage you to take a minute, relax, and just find one prayer that He has answered for you that you are thankful for, whether that answer was yes, no, or wait.

2. Surround Yourself With Good

Sometimes when I get in this slump “why doesn’t my life look the way I want it to”, I get pretty closed minded about everything. I don’t want to admit that maybe my life doesn’t look half as bad as I’m making it out to be and that I have more than enough to be thankful for. So, I try to surround myself with people who believe in me, who love me, and who are constantly praying for my “wait”.

3. Serve Other’s

This can be one of the harder ones for me at times. We as humans get in our minds “why should I help meet others needs when mine aren’t being met”. However, I’m a true believer that God gives through giving, whether it be financial giving, talent sharing, or just plain giving of our time. When we chose to focus on others needs we tend to push our wants/needs to the side even for a small period of time. I’ve also noticed I tend to view my wants/needs as smaller or not as important after serving others.

4. Love Yourself

The Devil is hard at work on me during the season of wait…and when you’ve been in this season for longer than you’d like, it can start to take it’s toll. Make sure you are doing things that you love, that make you come alive. Carving out time to read, going to the gym, and feel good shows are my go-to’s when the “wait” hits me hard. Don’t let that voice inside your head define who you are.

 

So, friends, whether your wait season is for a new job, a positive pregnancy pounds, those last ten pounds to drop, etc. no that you are not alone in your season. While our “waits” may look different, we are the same in the struggle and we are the same God’s unending, reckless, love.

 

 

God— I pray for everyone reading this. You know their hearts, you know their needs, and you know their “wait”. I pray today that You just remind them of how precious they are to You. That there is something big in store that You have planned since they were knit together in their mothers womb. Plans that You have set out for them to do good and holy works. I pray that they take time to spend with You, just waiting. I hope that they find people who will lift them in prayer and love them hard. That they will find a way to serve others, even in their doubt. And most importantly, God, I pray that they don’t let the Devil tell them who they are, for they are Yours. “I am who You say I am”. Thank you for all the prayers you have answered. For all the Yes’ that I rejoiced for, all the no’s I know look back on with admiration, and all the “waits” where I realize how much sweeter it is when the “wait” turns into a “yes, now”. 

 

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