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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Incrediable Joy In A Long Awaited Answer!

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
John 11:40 NIV

I have found that there is incredible joy in a long awaited answer to prayer! I believe that the longer the wait for an answer to prayer, the greater the joy when God finally delivers the answer. Although I desire a quick answer to my prayer there are many reasons that God may choose to delay his answer.

God may choose to delay an answer to prayer simply because all things are not ready. For instance you may be praying for a job but the job that God has in mind for you is not available yet. Or if you are married and your prayer request involves both you and your mate, you may have to wait until you are both ready for God to work. Maybe God is trying to accomplish something different in each of your lives that will require two different types of obedience. It is possible that maybe your mate is ready and you are still lacking. In another instance you may be praying for someone to accept the Lord, but you must wait until that person is willing. Other times God delays an immediate answer to our prayer because he has a much greater blessing in mind.

The manner in which we choose to wait for an answer can either bring God glory or it can show our lack of trust in God. I guess we could say that our waiting is a bit of a test. It is during the times of waiting that I must choose to be faithful and believe God no matter how long it takes for the answer to come. Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40 NIV

The above scripture was spoken to those that witnessed Lazarus being raised from the dead. After Jesus had learned of Lazarus’ death he waited four days before he showed up at Lazarus’ home in Bethany. He was greeted by Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha. Both of the women expressed to Jesus that if he had gotten there earlier Lazarus would not have died. Now these women were friends of Jesus. They had witnessed him healing many people. I’m sure they were a bit put out because now when they needed Jesus, he was nowhere to be found! The point was that Jesus did not rush on the scene and heal Lazarus because he had chosen the death of Lazarus as an opportunity to perform a greater miracle. It would be a miracle that would bring greater glory to God. I can only imagine that when Jesus said “Lazarus come forth!” and Lazarus came out of the tomb throwing off his grave clothes, the people set up and took great notice because God was at that moment being glorified in an amazing way. You see, Jesus’ delay was a delay of love. It was for the greater good that he waited.

I prayed eleven years that my husband, who traveled weekly, would get a local job. I had friends and family all over the country joining me in that prayer. I believed with all my heart that God was more than able to answer my prayer, yet I did not know if God would choose to do so. I made up my mind that no matter what the outcome of my prayer I would remain faithful to my husband and my God.

Finally, from a heavenly perspective, all things were ready and God answered my prayer. Not only did God provide Joe with a local job in North Carolina, he gave him a home office and now he is home 24/7!

I cannot tell you the incredible joy that I experienced when this long awaited answer to prayer came! I was thrilled! God had not forgotten us; he knew our names and our address. It really did seem to my spirit that there was glory all around! It has been a few years now, but remembering this surprising answer to prayer still sends shivers up and down my arms!

When Joe gave me God’s good news, I immediately began making phone calls and sending e-mails to all the people who had been faithful in praying for us for eleven long years. You see, God could most likely have blessed us by finding my husband a local job sooner, but God did one better, a greater blessing indeed. Yes, there is great joy and a glorious witness as we shared the news of a long awaited answer to prayer. I’m so glad I didn’t miss out on the marvelous experience of what great joy feels like in a long awaited answer to prayer. I can only tell you it was and still is awesome!

This morning as I am leaving the garden my secret thoughts reveal that I wish that learning to wait on God was a one time experience. But I am finding that each situation walks me through yet another process of waiting. Today I want to remember that prayer is indeed a privilege and as I wait on God I will be prone to frustration. I don’t ever want to forget that the required sacrifice of submission is never easy but it is God’s plan for my peace. God commands me to keep praying and to not grow weary in doing the good work of prayer. With God’s help I also want to make good choices as I wait for his answers. I want to choose to wait in a spirit of peace rather than a spirit of impatience and frustration. Above all, I want to live in anticipation of the great joy that I will experience when my long awaited answer to prayer is delivered. I know that the answer will be a loving answer straight from the heart of God. Even if the answer is a heartbreaking no, I want to still choose to rejoice in the eternal value of God’s Divine answer, even if the value is veiled to me.


Have you been praying for something for a long time?

Are you discouraged because God has not yet answered your prayer?

Can you now think differently about why God may be taking his time in answering your prayer?

Have you ever experienced great joy in a long awaited answer to prayer? If so try to recall the events of how God showed up and answered that prayer.


Dear God,

Thank you for reminding me that there could be so many reasons why my prayers continue to go unanswered. I just want to take time now to tell you that I trust you as you make all things ready regarding my prayer request. I know that you desire to bless me and those around me when your glory is revealed in the answer to my prayer. I am choosing this day to be faithful as I wait on you. Help me to bring glory to you in the way that I wait for your answer. Help me to wait peacefully rather than impatiently. I take enormous joy in knowing that your answer was released in heaven even before I finished praying that first day I brought my request to you. I know that you will know when all things are ready.

In Your Son’s Name I pray. Amen.