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Day Seventeen - Our Biggest Prayer Challenge: Waiting

Posted by Bob Fetherlin , in 40 Days of Prayer 18 May 2013 · 1687 views

Read: Acts 13
Pray: For our international workers that God would encourage them, meet them, protect them and use them!

When we pour out our hearts to God, our natural way to think is that because He loves to give good gifts to His children (Mat 7:11), He will respond quickly with what we desire. Not getting the response we want, and not getting it right away, can tire us and even move us toward despair that our earnest prayer wasn't even heard. Waiting in faith can be one of the hardest things we ever do, especially if the situation we've brought to God feels very urgent to us. We often view delays in God's response to us as denials, and our faith tends to waver and we too often give up.

The deceiver, Satan, is savvy in his work to oppose our prayers. He knows that holding on to faith when heaven appears to be silent is very difficult for us. He can easily flood our hearts with cares, temptations or discouraging thoughts about God to keep us from faith-filled prayer. If we continue to have to wait, he seeks to persuade us that God really doesn't care about us very much, that His love for us fluctuates and even fades instead of being steadfast. One of the most challenging tasks in our journey is waiting as we continue to pray with fervant faith, repeatedly focusing on the same request, without a clear sense of God responding.

Because God deeply loves us, He does what in His big-picture understanding is for our good. We so often are focused on the threads on the back of the tapestry while God sees the beauty of the picture on the front of the tapestry. Jesus instructed us to pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mat 6:10). We pray for His will over ours. May we understand that our will is the proudest enemy Christ has this side of hell, and the cause of our sin and brokenness. The great contest between God and us is this: Whose will will stand? Will it be God's will or ours? In every sin we slight the will of God, setting up our own will against His. When we pray that God's will be done, we are calling for His will to be done and for ours to be put aside. As people of living faith, we are to cry out to God for a willing heart to do His will (Psa 143:10) and the skill to carry it out (Heb 13:20-21).

Our underlying pride causes us to walk away from faith-filled prayer when we don't get our own way, and get it quickly. To wait is to demonstrate humility and death to self. God delights when we have a faith that waits at the door until He comes (Luke 11:5-10).. If our prayers do not get the response we desire in our timeframe, could it be that God desires to teach us a better way? Could He be helping us focus on what's most important? And should we not have the same perseverance as Jacob had when he cried out, "I will not let you go unless you bless me" (Gen 32:26)? This calls for our tenacity, our importunity in prayer.

Through waiting, God often brings us to the point where we don't know what to do. He does this that we might know what He can do!

Bob Fetherlin

Prayer: Kind Father, I ask for a persevering heart to trust you when it feels like Youre not responding as quickly as Id like. And help me to persist in praying for those in my life who, in spite of being very needy, have stiff-armed you for many years. And help me to intercede with importunity for the remaining resistant people groups of this world who desperately need you. In the name of Christ my Lord, Amen.

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