When the Answer to Your Prayer is Delayed

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Before I let the horses out one wintery morning, I walked the fence to be sure it was still intact after the storm. My frigid journey through the ice wasn’t because I want a fine-looking fence, although I do, but because I want the horses safe. If they get out of the pasture and onto the road, an accident with catastrophic injuries to humans and horses is far too likely.

A big cedar tree was down, but it fell away from the fence. A large oak limb smashed onto but did not break the wire closer to the barn. The limb was at least eight feet long and as big around as a whole frozen chicken. The wire was pressed down far enough that I could easily step over – no problem for the horses to cross. I envisioned them out of the fence and into harm’s way in an instant. Not good.

What they wanted was not what they needed.

My only choice was to remove the limb. When I returned to the barn for supplies the horses were seriously unhappy. Usually docile, they whinnied. Pawed at the door. Stamped their feet. They wanted out of their stalls, and they didn’t care why I was delayed.

I ignored them and did what had to be done.

After the fence was repaired and the pasture was safe, I opened the stall doors. The horses raced out the barn door without so much as a nuzzle of thanks for me. My delay kept them safe but their only concern was getting what they wanted…out of the barn.

When the answer to our prayer is delayed

Sometimes I pray in the same horsey way. I don’t want the answer to my prayer delayed. Instead, I demand what I want with no concern for why God might delay a yes answer. Is there a danger from which I was protected by the delay? Is He preparing something special for me or for those for whom I prayed?

All too often, I presume that I should receive what I want when I want it, but there was a reason Jesus told us to ask for God’s will and not our own. His way is best. Always.

Waiting time isn’t wasted time. 

Jairus, a leader at the local synagogue, fell at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to intervene. His only daughter was desperately ill and near death. Before Jesus could take a step in the direction of Jairus’ daughter, His attention was drawn to a woman with one hand on the fringe of His robe. She, too, was in desperate need of the healing only Jesus could provide.

Things didn’t look good for the dying child. The woman was healed but a messenger arrived with heartbreaking news for Jairus. Jesus, it seemed, was too late. Jairus’ daughter was already dead.

Jesus time is not too late

I’m always surprised by Jairus’ reaction. I might have struck out at Jesus with angry words or left in despair but Jairus stayed where he was – at the feet of Jesus. As soon as the dreaded words of death were spoken, Jesus comforted Jairus. “Don’t be afraid. I can still heal here. No worries.” (Leanna Paraphrase) They headed to the synagogue official’s home and Jesus called the young girl from death into life.

The answer to Jairus’ prayer was delayed to the point of desperation, but the miracle Jairus received was much greater than that for which he’d asked. Was it worth the delay? Undoubtedly. Did it seem like it while Jesus was healing the woman with the issue of blood? Probably not. Jesus’ time, however, is always the right time.

God has a reason for the delay. He is at work, even when we don’t see His hand. Are you waiting? Are you weary of the delay? Fear not. Today, let’s give thanks for His delay and look for the lesson in the waiting.

“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 nasb 

Want to learn more about prayer? Be sure to check out our resource page. Click here: Prayer Resources

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Waiting time
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Featured Image Photo by @Misakyanovich on Unsplash

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Want to read more? Here are links to a few other posts:

Promises of God Fulfilled

When the God of the Universe Knows Your Name

How to Trust God in Hard Times

Repentance and the Benefits Package

Will We Make Room for God in Our Lives?

Contentment Regardless of Circumstances

How to Memorize Scripture

Repentance: It’s Not Optional

On Being Beloved

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