Andy Stanley recently finished a sermon series titled “When God?” During the introduction to the first sermon, he asked for a show of hands by anyone in the congregation who had experienced the frustration of praying earnestly for God to answer a prayer, and God just seemed to remain silent. As you would expect, almost every hand went up.
We have become accustomed to bringing our desires to God, expecting Him to give us what we ask for. We often ask for something that we think we need. Just as a trial attorney would lay out his case in court, we make our case before God, justifying our request with solid evidence of the need. How is it that we can be so convinced of something that we need, and we ask God to meet that need, and He remains silent?
We are very good at praying. I pray every morning, asking for God’s provision and guidance, for blessing and protection for my family, and for the needs of my friends who are struggling with health, jobs, family issues, and life in general. I typically begin by thanking God for the day, and then I get right to my list. What would our prayer life be like, if instead of giving God our list, we entered into His presence and just waited for Him? Sometimes we need to pause before God and realize who He is. He is the Creator of all things, the Giver of life. He holds all things in His hands, yet he knows you by name. He loves you so much that He gave His only son to die for your salvation.
Andrew Murray states, “In praying, we are often occupied with ourselves, with our own needs, and our own efforts in the presentation of them. In waiting upon God, the first thought is of the God upon whom we wait. We enter His presence, and feel we need just to be quiet, so that He, as God, can overshadow us with Himself. God longs to reveal Himself, to fill us with Himself. Waiting on God gives Him time in His own way and divine power to come to us.”¹
How would your prayer life be different if you waited for God before giving Him your list of requests? If you’ve been frustrated with God not answering your prayers, kneel in His presence quietly, just to remember who He is and know that He is God. Wait until you know you have met Him. Allow Him to fill you with His presence and rest in the knowledge that Almighty God will give you everything you need.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” - (Psalm 46:10 ESV)
¹ Waiting on God by Andrew Murray