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To pray or wait

December 2, 2010

Where’s the line between pressing into prayer and God’s promises in faith, and resting in God’s perfect timing … in faith?

How long do you pray for something – even fervently, even in passionate intercession – before it’s “okay” to just sit back and go, “Okay, God. Whenever You’re ready?”

I mean for you. For healing or provision or something in your life. If you’re praying for someone else – for an unsaved loved one, for example – there’s surely constant intercession needed on their behalf ’cause that’s just war.

But I mean for you – you who are otherwise submitted to and serving the Lord, who is doing your best to be obedient and faithful.

Because on the one hand it’s the fervent prayers of the righteous that avail much, and Joash only struck the ground three times instead of five or six, and Daniel continued to pray even though his answer was delayed.

But on the other hand, Abraham just waited in faith for ten years. Jesus showed up “in the fullness of time.” Israel waited in Egypt for 400 years, and then wandered the desert for another 40 until a generation died off.

Does it take more faith to continue to pray? Or does it take just as much faith to ease up on the intercession and trust that God has a plan and maybe there’s a little bit of timing involved that you just don’t see from your limited perspective? Or is that dress-up lethargy?

Where’s the line?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacob permalink
    December 4, 2010 1:48 pm

    Does one have to be wrong? Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 6:6-8,”6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” I do think it’s more of a mixture both, because God is looking for us to call on his name like his children. To start the relationship with he is our God and we being his people, so part of that relationship is speech. In the same way he is still God and things are going to be answered his way and his timing, so we must have faith and wait to see it unfold. Look at Exodus 4-6 the people have an idea of how their god YHWH is going to free them from the Egyptians, and when it doesn’t happen right away, chap 5; they get upset with Moses and YHWH. But then you see the great promise in 6 which is so powerful and amazing, and they needed to wait and see that unfold. Same way with our lives we ask God for his deliverance and his mighty hand in our lives and lives around us, and we don’t lose faith but wait to see God bring it to completion.

    • Lex permalink
      December 4, 2010 4:45 pm

      Good insight, there, man.

      I don’t think one of them is necessarily wrong, I just don’t know if there’s a line between the two. We’ve been praying for a family for about two years now and I go through these seasons. Sometimes I just throw up my hands and think, “Look, we’ve prayed, we’ve bound, we’ve loosed, we believe. It’s not happening, so the only thing I can think is it’s just not time yet.” So I don’t really pray about it, and I just tell myself that when it’s time it’ll be time ’cause it’s in God’s hands.

      And then sometimes I read stories about people who press and press and press on in faith and pray and pray and pray and I think I’ve just gotten lazy and that if I REALLY wanted this thing I would siege the throne daily about it.

      I dunno … obviously.

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