Three things you detest: waiting. Waiting. WAITING! Yet, when it comes to your prayers, God seems to have you “on hold” – a lot! Is He simply reluctant? Does He withhold for no reason? Prayers often go unanswered for lack of preparing. You have a part to do. Here are four ways to ensure you don’t wait in vain.
1). Make sure your requests are Biblical.
God knows what’s best for you. Many prayers will never be answered because they go against God’s will for our lives. How can you know if your prayers are in line with God’s will?
Most Bibles have a Concordance so you can search topically. Look for examples or specific scripture passages that address your situation. If you can’t find a principle, if there is no pattern to model after, ask a spiritually mature believer for help.
Having said that, just because you can find an example in the Bible, doesn’t mean it IS God’s will for “you”. God made you and has a good plan for your life. He won’t give you something that has potential to mess with His plan for you. Ask God for discernment.
God promises a resounding YES to all requests that are in His will for you. John 14:13.
2). Do your part.
Waiting isn’t passive, it’s active. There are many things you must do for yourself. For example, maybe you are “waiting” for a job. God will not prepare your resume. He doesn’t send out emails, make calls, or drop by perspective employers, on your behalf. The job search is your responsibility, not God’s.
Personal development may be required. Are there some skill improvement, character development, experience, or network connections, required? God doesn’t press a magic button and “poof” you’re prepared. He will, however, give you the courage to take bold steps, when necessary.
Have you prayed? I don’t mean a bullet prayer. The Bible reminds us to pray continuously, in many ways. Get down on your knees. Fast. Invite others to pray for you. Don’t forget to thank God. Your present circumstances are His will for you at this time.
There is never a good time to be idle. If you’ve done your job, carry on with life. Take care of your family. Go to work – and do your job well. Share the gospel. Visit the sick. Feed the hungry. If God seems slow to answer, wait! But keep moving.
God promises to answer with a resounding YES when it’s in His will for you, in His perfect timing. Habakkuk 2:3.
3). Check your motives.
You may be waiting for the right thing for wrong reasons. Is your mind set on God’s interests, or your own? Common for those in leadership is to ask God to elevate and give them favor, simply so that they may make their own name great. God won’t share His glory with anyone.
Have you asked God to change your spouse, your boss, or your child? Is it because you care deeply for them and want to see them experience God’s best? Or, are you tired of dealing with them? If it’s the latter, you might be the one God is trying to change.
Your own hidden agenda may not be evident. Ask God to give you insight into your own heart. As a believer, your entire purpose is to bring God glory and to love the ones He has placed in front of you. Are your motives in line with God’s agenda?
God promises to respond with a resounding YES when it’s in His will for you, in His perfect time, with His pure motives. James 4:3.
4).Don’t wait in vain. Wait Expectantly.
When you’ve done all you can do, be willing to wait as long as it takes. God often answers suddenly, in ways you could not anticipate. One thing you can be sure of, your waiting won’t be in vain. God promises good things to those who wait!