In my quiet time with the Lord, I found myself praying about something I’ve prayed about for years.
“Lord, please do what I’m asking, and please do it quickly! I need you to do this Lord! Oh, yes, and let your will be done. But please, do this now!”
Well, I didn’t say exactly those words but I did pray with an attitude of “hurry up God!” After all, I’ve been (patiently) waiting for a long time!
So, I began to seek an encouraging word from the Bible. There’s always something encouraging when it comes to prayer! For example, I love this one:
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
But instead, I began to read Isaiah and what jumped off the page? Isaiah 5:19 which says,
“(woe)… to those who say, ‘Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it.’”
That’s not what I wanted to hear! After all, what is wrong with telling (I mean asking) God to hurry up with His answer to my prayer?
I pondered this for a while. Why does this bother God so much?
And so I speculate some possibilities.
Maybe God sees this type of prayer as asking Him to hurry in order to “prove” that He is in control. Isn’t that why some people followed Jesus? Just to see miracles? Do I need to see God’s work in order to trust Him? The longer I wait on an answer, the more my trust seems to waver.
Maybe God wants me to relinquish my will over the matter I’m praying about. I have a plan and God is taking too long. Could it be that God has a better plan? Is it possible throughout my prayers that God intends to change me as much as He intends to change the situation and answer my prayer?
Maybe God is saying, “Don’t rush me just to appease yourself…. just so you can be satisfied…. so you don’t have to wait and trust.” Is God teaching me to recognize that He is my rock? Instead of clinging to the answer to my prayer, I should cling to Him? Instead of looking at what I want or need, should I keep my eyes on Him, the One who is in control of the entire universe?
And so I learn to wait and trust.
If any of my speculations are true regarding asking God to hurry, then I need to reword some of my prayers. First of all, my attitude should be more trusting. I don’t need to see God’s work in order believe that He will answer. I can have peace instead of pain as I wait.
OK, now I understand a little better why God doesn’t want His people to tell Him to hasten his work so that they may see it. Or that they should tell Him to reveal His plan so that they may know it.
My new prayer:
Lord, Let Your will be done, in Your way and in Your time. Please help me to let go of my fear of the unknown, which surfaces when I don’t see your answer. Help me to trust you more so that I don’t need to see Your work in order to believe You are in control. Help me to cling to You as the Rock that I can hold on to. In Jesus’ Name, Amen