Waiting on God for an answer can be one of the most trying times of your life. What do you do while waiting, how do you wait, and how long are we supposed to wait on God?
You know that thing you’ve been praying for, waiting for, crying to God about, and STILL no answer? What do you do when you’re waiting on God to answer your prayer? How do you wait patiently and is there is any benefit in the waiting?
How do you wait on God?
You’re probably already bringing your requests to God in prayer. But did you know that Jesus tells us in Luke 11 to pray with persistence?
Sometimes it’ll require you to bring your request to God for weeks, months, and even years.
But don’t give up.
You may find it beneficial to journal your prayers, pray using scripture (by inserting your name throughout the scripture), and asking others to pray for you and with you.
Ask yourself what do you feel like you’re waiting on an answer for. Is it for an actual sign or just a feeling? Do you need confirmation from a friend?
Tell God what you need. You may not get it but be honest with God, even though he knows your heart, and it can begin to transform you.
What are the benefits of waiting on God?
The benefits of waiting on God to answer or not answer your prayers is as personal as your prayers.
- He provides us strength while we wait.
- It humbles us and makes us acknowledge that God is sovereign.
- Depending on God draws us closer to Him.
- Sometimes we don’t want our prayers answered. Think back 10 or 20 years and your prayers of younger days. What if God had answered all of your prayers? If you’re anything like me, looking back on your life, you can say you’re grateful for unanswered prayers.
What to do while you’re Waiting on God
You’ve brought your request or your problem to God, and now you’re waiting.
What if you can’t wait? What if circumstances demand that you make a decision, but you still don’t have an answer from God?
I’ve heard it said that sometimes God isn’t as concerned with the path you choose as your transformation regardless of the choice you make.
This means if choice path A or path B, how will you handle it? Will you stay committed to God and everything he’s entrusted to you?
Regardless of your choice, bumps will come along, because you know, life, so will you cling to God through those storms and give others and yourself grace?
Or will your choice make you turn to greed, idols, and the way of this world?
Maybe the thought of those two paths can be helpful when praying about your decision.
If you’re feeling led towards one path but simply want God’s blessing before you choose, ask yourself:
- Am I asking for this because it will bring me more comfort? God is often not interested in our comfort but in our obedience.
- Do I hope for a specific outcome because it will bring me fame, money, make me feel better about myself, or anything the slightest bit selfish? If so, consider if this is why you don’t hear a positive response.
- Can I serve the people around me with the same, if not better, obedience regardless of my decision?
- Am I putting God in a box by only bringing these options to him? Should I ask for more or ask him open-ended questions instead?
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.Ephesians 3:20
Take the first step
Is it possible for you to take the first step in faith?
Sometimes we may never hear or feel a Yes or No from God on a matter. But that doesn’t always mean no. By not moving at all, either way, you’re saying you think the answer is no.
Consider if you can take small steps towards your request and test the waters. How does that feel?
For example, let’s say you’ve asked God for a husband, but crickets. Just because he hasn’t hand-delivered you a husband doesn’t mean the answer is no. You can try dating or letting others know you’re interested in dating. God still has the final word.
As for putting God in a box, using the husband example, you could ask God for someone to share your life with. Maybe this will be a best friend for life or a child you could mentor, or really who knows because God has a more wonderful imagination than you or me.
Three things waiting on God has taught me
God is Sovereign.
Often, what I thought I wanted and what I thought was best for my family and me wasn’t the best. Shocker, right?
But when we’re in the middle of our mess, we can only see our solutions to our problems. Waiting rarely seems like the best answer. It’s can often be why we think God isn’t listening to us or has forgotten us.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
Our timing is not God’s timing
I’ve had prayers answered decades after I first began praying for them. They were honest prayers that aligned with his will. I won’t pretend to understand why God didn’t see fit to answer them years ago.
But I trust him. And he did answer my prayer.
“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.”Psalm 90:4 (ESV)
We don’t have to strive for anything
Many times when I’ve been in a waiting season, it’s because I think I need to be doing more.
What God has revealed to me each time is that I don’t need to do anything.
He loves me just for being me. I’m made complete by Jesus. If all I did were wake up and praise him and did nothing else all day, he’d be pleased with me. And you too.
This goes against our “work hard” and earn your way in the world thinking.
God desires work from us, too, as evident in Genesis and many of the Proverbs. However, we don’t’ have to do anything to gain his favor or his love.
So when we feel anxious and like we need to do more and feel like we’re in a waiting season because God isn’t using us, we should ask ourselves, what are we striving for?
Bible Verses for When You’re in a Season of Waiting
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.Psalm 37:7 NIV
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:31 ESV
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!Psalm 27: 14
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.Lamentations 3:25 ESV
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.Psalm 130:5 ESV