We live in a generation of “instant”, “fast”, “one touch” and “now’ mentality! Most of the time we want God to ‘always’ work like that when it comes to answering our prayers. This is what was in the mind of the Psalmist: “Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my trouble; Incline Your ear to me; In the day that I call, answer me speedily” (Ps 102:2) The Hebrew word for “speedily” is – mahhare which means – quickly, suddenly, hasty, soon, at once. Does God sometimes acts mahhare? Yes! Does He ‘always’ do that? NO! Sometimes in his own divine reasons, He delays! Why?
If there is something that troubles most believers, is the whole issue of “waiting upon the Lord”. The Psalmist once asked, O Lord God of hosts, “How long will You be angry against the prayer of Your people? (Ps. 80:4), prophet Habakkuk asked, “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, ‘Violence!’ and You will not save (Hab. 1:2)
In waiting, most of the time, one starts thinking maybe something went wrong somewhere, he starts repenting even sins which are not there, he say, ‘just incase there is one unconfused sin which blocks my prayers’ sometimes he thinks there is something left undone, may be helping the poor, not tithed enough, not prayed and fasted enough; or sometimes he starts looking for the “witch”, pointing fingers to others who he thinks are the cause of the delay! You know what! Sometimes none of the above has to do with God’s delay! Let me share with you some of the reasons why God delays to answer your prayers.
First, He knows the end from the beginning. The Bible says He declares the end from the beginning (Isa 46:10). So it is worth saying: ‘He delays you from catching a flight, because He is waiting for the storm ahead of you to pass’
Second, He wants to stretch your faith and build your trust in Him. This has to do with PERSISTENCE: Jesus says, “Men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1), FOCUS -The Bible says, ”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1) and GETTING RID OF ‘NOT OF GOD’,the Bible says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (Jas. 4:3).
Third, He waits for the problem to “mature” for His perfect miracle. Think about the fulfillment of God’s promise about the birth of Isaac (Gen. 21), fulfillment of the dreams of Joseph the son of Jacob (Gen. 50:15-21), Lazarus coming back to life after being dead for four days (John 11) to mention a few.
Fourth, for His witness to unbelievers. This is what Jesus says, “ If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him”
Fifth, He wants all the glory to be His and His alone. When all seems impossible, and from nowhere God intervenes, a song of praise would rise in people’s hearts. This reminds me of crossing the Red Sea (Ex. 15), deliverance of Meshach, Abednego and Shadrach in the furnace of fire (Dan. 3:28ff) and the deliverance of Daniel from the den of lions (Dan. 6:25ff).
Lastly, to promote you to another spiritual level, in other words, to strengthen your faith towards what is ahead of you. Remember the words of David to king Saul while facing the giant Goliath, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Sam. 17:37).
It’s my prayer that this message would encourage, strengthen you and empower you to keep on waiting upon the Lord. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:31)
Copyright: Douglas Mmari, Hope Ministries Tanzania.