Have you ever prayed about something with so much fervency that it started to feel less like prayer and more like harassment? I’m sure it’s not just me who spent months, I dare say years, praying and asking God for direction, purpose or answers to prayers and promises. Around a year ago, I wrote about waiting. Waiting on God for His answers in His timing is difficult because we’re human. We live in a time that wants things quicker than a microwave can turn out.
Our generation is one that seeks answers immediately, and exactly as we see fit. We leave no room for God to do what He needs to do. Instead we try to “force” the answers to prayers to the exact specifications that we desire.
Should we stop?
What happens when we stop trying to force God’s hand? Surely the Creator knows not what we want, but what we truly need in our lives. These aren’t always the same thing, and may sometimes seem like God just chooses not to hear our prayers. What happens when we continue to pray, but stop trying to intervene and create solutions for ourselves?
“Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life” (Philippians chapter 4, verse 6).
We don’t stop praying our prayers. We don’t stop trusting God and His faithfulness. We stop trying to control outcomes. We’re clearly told in Philippians chapter 4 that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be pulled in varying directions and be anxious.
The world may present us with a multitude of seeming options, different roads for us to choose from and a plethora of potential shapes and colours for us to pick. The reality is that not every dress is our perfect fit. Forcing the decision for ourselves could divert us from the one that He really has lined up for us and we ultimately stand to delay the process. Stop rushing Him.
When you least expect it
How does one even begin to stop rushing God? The secret is to let go and trust His timing. I didn’t say this would be easy.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes chapter 3, verse 1).
God doesn’t work on our schedule. As frustrating as that may sound, His timing is perfect. We can’t anticipate His seasons, but we are able to trust His and let go. Just start your race and know that the Creator of the universe will guide you along the way.
I’ve found that the answers to my prayers have arrived when I’ve least expected them. They’ve come in a package that I was not looking for, in a season I least expected and have FAR surpassed my expectations. In all honesty, what I had been praying for was just the tip of the iceberg when I look at what God had planned.
When you least expect it, when you’ve completely let go of your control and surrendered your cares and anxieties to Him, that’s the greatest stretching of your faith. It’s in this moment that you have not ceased to trust, but have chosen the God-option.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11).
The God-option will never fail. He knows the beginning from the end and knows the best answer to your prayer. Your future is bright. Your future is in His hands. Your answers will come when you least expect it.
Hailing from South Africa, Crystelda is an avid nerd and an unapologetic dreamer. With a BSc. Biological Sciences and BCom Hons in marketing, she has launched the Christian lifestyle blog - Selah Blogger and is the joint winner of the 2019 International Theology Award. The blog can be found at https://selahblogger.wordpress.com/ and her previous articles may be viewed at https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/crystelda-naidoo.html