Clutching his dad’s hand, the wide-eyed boy was walking through the toy isle. He noticed every toy on the shelf and asked for most of them. “This is only $10. Can I have it?” “Wow! Can you put this on my Christmas list?” Trying to convince his dad to buy another toy, the boy said, “We could play with this together, Daddy.” The boy tried all the tricks to get a new toy, but the dad’s response was the same.
“Maybe another day,” the dad calmly replied, “not today.”
This scene plays out in toy isles everywhere. Kids want many things, and they are not afraid to ask for what they want, and parents hear their requests. Likewise, our Heavenly Father allows us to ask for what we want in prayer.
We can ask for what we want.
Prayer is a conversation between us and our dad, and like all kids, we have a lot of wants and needs. We do have permission to ask for what we want.
- John 14:13-14 says, “You can ask for anything in my name and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name and I will do it.”
- “But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted,” Jesus says in John 15:7.
It is okay to make requests of God. We don’t have to worry he will become upset with us if we ask for something. God hears and answers us, and his answer always comes at the right time. God answers us in his timing.
God answers us in his timing.
If you’re like me, you pray for something and want it immediately. We didn’t ask to wait. We asked for the answer, but God delays. He does not provide the answer the same day or even the next day. We keep praying and God keeps delaying.
“Is he ever going to answer? Is he ever going to respond,” you and I wonder? We believe it is time to receive the answer to our prayer long before God knows it is time. Jacob’s family can relate.
Jacob’s family can relate.
The Bible records a severe famine causing everyone to run out of food except those listening to Joseph, Jacob’s son. God put Joseph in place before the famine to prepare Egypt and save Jacob’s family. Because of Joseph, Jacob’s family was able to escape the famine in Egypt where they enjoyed a peaceful time until Pharaoh’s death.
A new Pharaoh came to power who did not know Joseph and was threatened by the size of Jacob’s family. Israel finds themselves enslaved to the Egyptians. They are forced into hard labor, so they cry out to God. They cry out to the Lord day after day, but day after day, they are still working for the Egyptians.
Meanwhile, God was preparing Moses to lead Jacob’s family out of Egypt. In his timing, God answered their prayer.
Exodus 2:25 says, “He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.”
When It’s Time
God did not answer Israel’s prayer for years, but he did answer. God may not answer our prayers today or even tomorrow, but he will answer. Perhaps the Lord is preparing the answer just like he was for Jacob’s family.
Meanwhile, we keep praying with the hopeful knowledge our dad answers when its time.
Make a list of requests you are waiting on God to answer. Entitle the list When Its Time and pray often for these requests. God will provide the right answer in the right time.
Please share this post if you know someone who would find it helpful or encouraging.
Want an Additional Resource?
Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado is a great resource on prayer.