by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday January 10, 2006
Praying God’s Way
We like to keep things simple: just follow a few steps and reach the preferred result. Prayer, however, cannot be reduced to a formula. It isn’t some static activity where repeating certain words brings the desired solution. It is ongoing communication with the Father, which involves listening, speaking, and acting on what we hear.
God has promised to answer His children’s prayers, but He often waits before responding. He does so for many reasons.
Preparation. Sometimes God has to make us ready for what He wants to give. We may have some attitudes or behaviors that aren’t right (James 4:3). He will deal with them before He gives us His gift.
Spiritual growth. The Lord may use delays to test our faith or to deepen our relationship with Him. When there is no response from Him, He wants us to keep seeking Him and conversing with Him.
Timing. God’s timetable often does not match ours. He knows what He wants to accomplish in our spiritual lives and in our relationship with Him. We can trust that the time between our request and His reply will be put to good use by Him.
God has included delays as part of the believer’s prayer life. Sometimes He answers our first request; but many times it takes several petitions before He responds. In certain situations, we have to keep knocking as the persevering widow did before God gives His answer.
Jesus calls us to a lifestyle of “asking, seeking, and knocking” — a lifestyle undergirded by trust in God’s promise to answer His children. How persistent are you?