This is my article that was published today in the Natoma-Luray Independent section of the Russell County News.
Waiting is the hardest part
God answers our prayer in one of three ways: yes, no and wait.
The first two are easy enough, you pray for something and God either gives you what you want, or He does not. Someone is made well, or they are not; either you pass the test or you do not; either you are elected, or you are not.
But that third answer; wait, is the most difficult to accept. Now, waiting could mean a variety of things; it could mean waiting a couple of days, or it could mean waiting for months, even years at times. One thing is for certain, waiting is never easy.
Personally, I have a couple of prayer requests that are in the waiting stage. I know what I want, I have made clear to God how a positive answer would benefit several people involved; even mentioned how it would help Him out as well by bringing glory to His name; and yet He has in His wisdom decided that for now, the answer is neither yes or no, but simply wait.
I am sure the same is true of you as well. How many prayers have you prayed in which the answer is neither yes or no, but wait? Certainly several prayers for rain for our area are in the waiting stage; perhaps prayers for your health or for that of a loved one are also in the waiting stage.
While waiting for an answer to our prayers, it might feel sometimes that our prayers have been ignored. And yet, we have the promise from Jesus that each and every one of our prayers is heard by our Father in heaven; and we have the assurance that not only are they heard, they are answered; maybe not always in our time, but they are answered.
And so when we make our requests to our Father in heaven, we also pray the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy will be done. To pray, to petition God for something, is to make your will known to God; but it is also placing into His hands what you are concerned for, and asking that in His wisdom and mercy that He would answer your prayers, not as you would like them answered, but as He has best determined to answer them.
Sometimes that means getting what you want the very next day; other times it means not getting what you want at all; and then sometimes it means that you have to wait awhile for an answer. God, in His grace and mercy, wants what is best for you, both today and forever; and sometimes what is best is waiting.
God Bless! Pastor Michael Schmidt