We expect fast service. Fast delivery. Fast answers to our text messages, and, let’s be honest, we expect fast answers to our prayers. But we quickly learn that God’s time table is different than ours, and we often find ourselves waiting. Today’s podcast answers the question – What should we do while we wait for God to answer our petition? You might be surprised that we aren’t supposed to be just sitting still and doing nothing! Find out what you can and should be doing while you wait as you listen to today’s episode that concludes the series on Elizabeth.
Is it possible that a ”righteous woman“ could have an unanswered prayer request? In today’s podcast we’ll dig into the Scriptures and learn about a request that seemed improbable to the human heart. God was doing some incredible work that can encourage us as we deal with our own improbabilities.
One of my husband’s ways to engage in sharing the Gospel when we’re at a restaurant is to ask the waitress how we can pray for her as we thank the Lord for our meal. It is always so interesting to hear how people answer that question. So many say something like,
“Everything’s good right now. I really don’t need anything!”
To them, God is like a genie in a bottle, waiting to grant their whims and wishes, or to fix the current financial or physical crisis in their life. Those issues are often God’s way of drawing us to Him. We realize how desperate we are without Him when a crisis comes. I recently came across a verse about prayer that reminded me that, as our heavenly Father, He loves to answer our longings when those longings are from a righteous heart (a heart right with Him) – not merely a heart that wants some thing.
The desire of the righteous shall be granted.
As we walk with Him, and allow him to direct our desires (Ps 37), our longings will be things that please Him, and that He delights in answering because He is a loving Father!
Psalm 73:25, 26
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
The happiness of the righteous will never end. Our God will never disappoint us or let us down. He always wins. Because He wins, we win. Don’t be downhearted.
If Christ’s desires are your desires He will grant them.
The answer is first in coming to know Him. Don’t look at Him as a god who grants wishes. See Him as your heavenly Father who delights in You as you delight in Him!
This is a continuation of the review of the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, but Elizabeth George
Whenever spring arrives, you will find me taking bags full of items that are being sent out to donate. They are things that are no longer of use to me. They are weighing me down. The truth is, however, that those bags typically sit in my garage for a long time before they finally get hauled away. I know they need to go. I know it will feel good to get rid of them. I know it’s the best thing, but I keep putting it off, until finally I’ve had enough and the task finally gets done! It feels so good to unclutter my home! I always wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!
Whilethat is so freeing to me, the act of taking my load of sin, burdens and requests to the Lord is even better! We often carry that load around with us and the burden of it all is weighty and deadening to our spiritual growth.
Most Christians delay praying. We put it off and resist it! We make excuses as to why we don’t pray. Satan doesn’t want us to have that fellowship with the Lord, and we listen to his lies until we finally are at a breaking point and we pour out our heart to God. The result is better than we could ever imagine.
In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George shares seven blessings of having a fervent prayer life. When I read these, I wondered why we put it off, why we don’t pray more. Look at to these incredible blessings ~
A deeper relationship with God. How can we have a relationship with the God who saved us if we don’t communicate with Him? Just as you and I long for fellowship with our husband or friends, God longs to enjoy fellowship and communion with Him. That happens when we pray. It’s not out of obligation, but because of a relationship. I Peter 5:7 As a camel kneels before his master to have him remove his burden, so kneel and let the Master take your burden.
Greater purity. As we talk with God, the Spirit of God will reveal sin in our lives. That leads us to confessing that sin and getting it right with Him. Elizabeth shared about being convicted of gossip. She began to make it a real matter of prayer that God would help her defeat this sin. “I faced my sin regularly in prayer. Sin led to confession, which led to purging.”
Confidence in Making decisions. – As we face decisions that need to be made, giving them to the Lord and making it a true matter of prayer will give us wisdom about what to do. God will never lead us to do something that is contrary to His word. So as we pray about the decision, He will direct us in His truth. We need to pray about everything. Elizabeth lives by this mantra ~ No decision without prayer. NO DECISION? None. “Should I go here?” “Should I say yes to this invitation?” As we are directed by the Lord in prayer, we can have confidence regarding those choices. When God has led us to say Yes to giving the devotion at a baby shower, we won’t dread it or be afraid, because we remember that He led us to make that decision, and He will fulfill all the good pleasure of His will!
Improved Relationships. Making specific prayer for those people closest to us will strengthen our relationships with them. How does this happen?
You can’t think about yourself and others at the same time.
You can’t hate the person you are praying for. Jesus instructed us to pray for our enemies. Matt 5:44 and God changes our hearts as we do so.
You cannot neglect the person you are praying for. As we pray, we find ourselves involved in those people’s lives.
Contentment. As we give to the Lord our wants, realizing that He will keep His promises to provide our needs, we will learn that “If He didn’t meet it, we didn’t need it. Paul said he was initiated into the secret place of contentment. This secret place is the place of prayer. If you’re praying about something and want it so badly, take it to your time of prayer.
God-confidence. As you face your own inadequacies, prayer will give you confidence in what He can do through you. You will learn to trust Him.
The ministry of prayer. No matter if you have physical strength to go and do other ministries, you can always have a ministry of prayer. You don’t need to go anywhere, you don’t need anything except a heart to bring burdens to our God Who promises to hear us when we call out to Him. So pray for others! Pray about your own burdens! You be the one who reaches out to pray with a friend over the phone, or in your home. Be the intercessor for others because of your heart to pray.
Are you a praying woman? Or are you carrying around the load and weight of your burdens rather than taking them to the Lord? You’ll be so free if you’ll spend time sharing your heart with God. You’ll also wonder why you didn’t do this sooner. God wants fellowship with you. Call out to Him. Draw near. He will draw near to you.
Do you have a prayer journal? I have offered a pdf for my favorite prayer journal in past. I’m still happy to send it for free to anyone who emails me here at Refreshherblog@gmail.com.
You can find the previous chapter of the review of A woman After God’s Own Heart here.
The radio podcast on my phone was interrupted by an incoming call. I looked down to see the word, “Dad.” I was delighted to see that it was my father who was calling. I always enjoy getting to talk to my dad, but the increase joy in hearing from him was due to being concerned (okay, I was worrying) about a procedure he’d had done at his physician’s office the day before. Fearful of bothering him, I didn’t want to call, so I decided to wait for his initiation. Hearing his voice and him calling me by my nick name in greeting, made my face and my heart smile. I got to ask him questions about how he was doing, then, as is typical of him, he turned the attention to me instead. He encouraged me about some issues I shared with him, and he assured me of his prayers. We enjoyed a sweet conversation and I hung up the phone relieved and thankful for his thoughtfulness in calling. It was a sweet comfort to hear his voice.
Moments after the call had been finished, the Lord brought to my mind that hearing from my Heavenly Father is even more precious. There are so many burdens on my heart right now, and each morning as I open my Bible and my prayer journal to read and then lift those needs before the Lord, it has been so sweet to hear from my Father in heaven.
He comforts me.
He reminds me of the Truth.
He gives me advice.
He encourages me.
I rise from our time together, a smile on my face and in heart. He called and I heard His voice. Thank you, Father.
By fearsome deeds of righteousness wilt Thou answer us, O God of our salvation, who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth and of them that are afar off upon the sea. Psalm 65:5
What burdens are you carrying today? Sit down and be still. Open God’s Word and let Him speak to you there. As you sit in prayer, don’t do all the talking. Let Him “call” you. You will hear His voice and He will comfort you.