It’s time to get a discussion going. And, so you know, I’m throwing this topic out for comments from anyone who happens upon the blog. I have my Wednesday night sisters in mind, but we wouldn’t mind hearing from some others.
This past Wednesday evening, our class had a discussion on what it means to pray with persistence based on the parable of the Unjust Judge (or Persistent Widow) from Luke 18. In the parable, a widow pleads for justice from a corrupt judge who has no interest in helping the downtrodden. Eventually, the judge becomes tired of her endless pleading and grants her petition just so she will leave him alone. Jesus then explains that if even a dishonest judge can be made to grant justice through persistent petitions, then we can be sure that a righteous God will answer in good time when His people call out to Him.
This led to a discussion of “waiting on the Lord” as a spiritual discipline that every Christian has to learn at some time (and probably many times). We focused on five reasons why God might make us wait for an answer to prayer:
1. Mercy – Sometimes God can only right a wrong by punishing the wicked. In those cases, God may delay that judgment because He is giving time for repentance (2 Peter 3:9). In those cases, we should remember that we too have received mercy from God. We may and must speak and act on behalf of the oppressed, but we should be thankful that God is not hasty in His vengeance.
2. Training – Sometimes God uses waiting as an exercise to build faith (James 1:2-4). Will we continue to trust even when the answer is not immediate?
3. Relationship – God is all about relationships. When we are praying over and over again about a matter, then we are spending time in His presence that we might not give to prayer if we were not made to feel our need of Him. Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. (Ps. 37:7, NLT)
4. Understanding – God wants us to know for certain the Source of our deliverance and to understand Him better (Ps. 62:1-2). Sometimes, we dismiss miracles when they come too easily.
5. Glory – God glorifies Himself in our weaknesses by making us sufficient to the work He has called us to do (2 Cor. 12:7-9). Our weaknesses exist so that others will see God and not us in what is accomplished.
SO WHAT IS GOD DOING FOR YOU RIGHT NOW? Is there something that you’ve been praying for, and the answer is a long time coming? Take a few minutes to reflect on what might be behind the delay. Is God building your faith? Are you learning new things about Him as you wait? Are you praying more than you used to? Or are you just hoping that there is some glory at the end of this? Post a comment and encourage your sisters.