“As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 NIV
I have a lot of BIG things I am praying for and about. I was at the end of my rope when I cried out for Jesus’s help and I warned Him that I needed a mighty God. I didn’t need some nice platitude to recite while I felt my world was burning around me. (Good thing He had already wrote in His book that He is a MIGHTY GOD!!)
Many of my prayers require God to work on and change the hearts of many people – and this makes for a long process. We have free will to choose if we want to follow God or fight against him. And when God works deep in the hearts, those of us praying (like me for my situations and people) will not see the little results and victories won along the way. As I discussed endurance (a couple days ago) – I told you I have been praying for a year now. I’m in it for the long game.
I will not receive God’s grace in vain as described in the verse I quoted above – the grace of verses like this is that of encouragement and remind me that I am on track, and that my prayers are heard today – yes even today – God is working on it!! (Thank you Jesus!)
“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.” Daniel 10:12 NLT
If you do not know the story of Daniel, he started praying and fasting and it took 21 days for the angel of the lord to arrive with the answer; 21 days of prayer and fasting! The angel got caught up in a spiritual war. Angels can be delayed due to spiritual battles? Yep. Good stuff for me to remember while waiting to see the answers for my prayers.
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 NIV
I am sure I am not righteous in the holy sense – but I am covered by grace, prayed for forgiveness, and a new creature in Christ. I am learning to do right. No one is pure, holy and righteous. Other translations of the Bible say innocent person, good person, just man, and those who have God’s approval. So, look at that! I fit in those categories.
The key is to really know what the Bible says is God’s promise and/or God’s will. For example, if I need a blessing and I have need, then I can read Philippians 4:19 KJV “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Then a simple “Amen!” prayer following is a great way to pray the verse and speak faith believing God’s word to be true. Or I can pray:
“God, your word says you will supply this need, because you are able to. I believe this verse and ask you to please meet this need. I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen!”
Because I prayed the word of God and His exact will as it is laid out in the bible I can have confidence the answer is: “Yes, child, I will meet this need.”
Praise the Lord!
And sometimes I need to wait on the answer as you see above in Daniel, sometimes a battle delays the answer.
Honestly, it’s hard to wait on the Lord and continue to bring my requests and intercessions to Him. A Sunday or two ago, in church, I broke down to God in frustration. Thank God He is close to the brokenhearted.
I showed up to church with great expectations and a friend in tow who is running away from God faster than I can read my Bible (which is pretty fast), and my friend hadn’t been to church in a while. The songs were the good ones, the ones that comforted me when I came back to Christ a year ago. The Holy Spirit was definitely in the service. The sermon wasn’t condemning yet had some hard convicting truths. As the service played out I prayed for my friend: “God do something!” I didn’t know what or how – be God or something awesome like that. “Lord, don’t let us leave without a confirmation that you are working in their life! Please!” And the service ends. We pick up our things – and I feel sad, I hold back my tears, fake a smile, and with one last prayer I breakdown to God (in almost 3year old temper tantrum style in my head) and silently cry out: “I know I can’t see You working on the inside, but where is that blinding light that knocked Saul off his feet on the way to Damascus?! Where is the Angel of the Lord smiting him in his side? Where is the whale to swallow him? (I know, my church is no where near an ocean.)” I walk to the end of the row, and as I reach the aisle an alter worker runs over to me and hugs me and says: “God says you need a hug today. Are you ok?” At that moment I lost control of those held back tears.
That is a faithful servant of God! Praise the Lord for her! God confirmed he is working and did it before we left – just like I asked. Not with fireworks or anything extravagant – just a hug to remind me he loves me, he hears me, and he is answering (working it out). And he is providing more grace to keep getting through.
I also took that moment with the altar worker to share my prayer request for that friend’s restoration. There is another now praying as well.
Interceding on behalf of another is a difficult prayer to pray through to the end – free will and the spiritual battle over their soul are real and delays the process. Only delays – nothing is impossible. God is mighty and he is victorious.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Amen? – Yes, amen.
Thank you for reading. May God provide verses and hugs to comfort you while you wait on God to bring the complete answers to your prayers to fulfillment.