God answers prayer… just not often in our timeframe. This past year has been filled with lessons reminding me of this truth. God’s timing is hard to understand. I am waiting on God to answer prayers – many prayers. And in the waiting, He is teaching me how to wait on Him and grow no matter how long the answers take.
What Does Waiting on God Mean?
It may seem strange, but I tend to evaluate my year from birthday to birthday rather than from New Year to New Year. As my birthday approaches, God has been opening my eyes to the many lessons learned this year and it is no surprise they all revolve around waiting on God.
Can you relate?
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 130:5-6 ESV
What Does it Mean to Wait on God?
There are things I need God to do. Mountains stand in my life that I need God to remove or push me over. There are literally areas of my life where I am standing still because I refuse to move in any direction God hasn’t laid out.
- The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.
- Waiting on God
- Staying in one place until God says move.
- Delaying an action until God says which action is right.
What the Bible Says About Waiting on God?
What does the Bible say about waiting on God? The Bible says a lot about waiting on God. A lot! There is more Scripture about waiting on God than we could cram into this article today. I’ll have to come back and focus right there later on*.
What I can say for sure is that the Bible is full of stories about waiting on God. They each teach us amazing lessons to grow in faith through trials. Because let’s face it, waiting on God to answer prayer often comes in the form of a trial!
Trials are the best growers of faith! These waiting on God verses answer a few questions we all ask:
- Why waiting on God is important?
- What do I do while waiting on God?
- How to wait on God to answer a prayer.
Scriptures on Waiting on God
First, let me share some of the Scriptures about waiting on God that He is highlighting in my life. They literally keep coming up over and over again. They are jam-packed with promises we can hold onto tightly.
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14 ESV
He promises that as we wait on Him He will give us strength. I need strength. He also reminds us to trust Him, even when things don’t make sense.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
And throughout these many Bible verses on waiting on God, we see reminders that we are not alone. There have been many heroes of faith who had to take a stand. That is encouraging.
“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7 ESV
Related Post: Bible Verses About Waiting On God
Why Waiting on God is Important?
If only this question could be answered the Sunday School way. Why is waiting on God so important? Because we can trust God to grow our faith.
Let’s face it, when we are knee-deep in trials, an answer like that falls flat. In the heat of the flame, I need a more real reason to keep me leaning into the Lord.
“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; and they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 ESV
Why wait on the LORD? He will give us the strength to keep running the race while we wait.
Consequences of Not Waiting on God
If remembering that God is faithful and trustworthy doesn’t help in the waiting, and the assurance that He will give you strength isn’t enough, know there are consequences for not waiting.
Have you jumped ahead of God before? It never ends well. Here are some Bible stories about waiting on God to help us remember.
- Abraham and Sarah trying to have a baby before God’s perfect time (Genesis 16)
- Moses hitting the rock for water instead of speaking (Numbers 20)
- Saul making a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel (1 Samuel 13)
Impatience is Often Sin
Each example of failure in those stories from these waiting on God Scripture holds something I want to learn.
- Abraham spawned a sibling rivalry that still rages today.
- Moses missed out on the blessing of living in the Promised Land.
- Saul lost the right to be king or leave a lineage of kings.
In every case, impatience led to sin. There are real, painful consequences for not waiting on the LORD.
Waiting on Him removes the temptation to sin by jumping outside of His perfect will and timing. Who else struggles with this?
Waiting Refines Us
If you want to go deeper into the topic of delayed answers to prayer, this waiting on God book by Bob Sorge is great: The Fire of Delayed Answers.
In the book, Sorge argues that God refines us through trials, which often look like unanswered prayers or delayed answers to prayer. He says:
“The greater the suffereing, the greater the glory God can derive from it.”The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge
The idea – that when God delays answering us He is testing us, growing us, refining us – is one that makes so much sense to me. Think back to the last trial you went through where God took His sweet time answering you. Afterward, how much stronger was your faith? How much did you learn about God? What sin or worthless habit did God prune away?
Waiting refines us as Christians!
How To Wait On God To Answer a Prayer
The key is learning how to wait on God to answer prayer. God always answers prayer. Always. I’ve come to believe this to be an absolute truth. We don’t always see the answers, understand the answers, or like the answers, but there are always answers!
So, what do I do while waiting on God? There are four things that have been the theme of my year in learning how to better wait on God.
- Embrace the waiting
- Lean into God when it gets hot
- Keep doing the last right thing
- Pray and praisethrough it
Relate Post: When God Says No It’s Hard to Be Still
Embrace the Waiting
I hate to wait. My default is to hurry God along, or worse, try to help God along. But the truth is, fighting the wait is not worth it. If instead, we choose to embrace waiting on God, we could find peace and contentment while growing in our faith.
Many places in Scripture describe God as a refiner. We are what God is refining, purifying, and molding. Waiting is a way God refines us like gold.
“I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich,” Revelation 3:18 NASB
God is going to refine us whether we embrace the process or not. Why not go into trials with open hands rather than kicking and screaming holding onto all our sacred things?
Why not lean into God when the heat of His refining fire (waiting) gets hot?
Lean Into God When It Gets Hot
How do we lean into God when He is refining us? When trials hit or we endure long seasons of waiting it can be tough?
It helps to remind ourselves of what He is growing in us? There are three beautiful truths to remind yourself of while you are waiting. Gold in Scripture is often referring to areas of Christlikeness in a believer’s life.
- Wisdom & Understanding
- Purified faith
- Refined character
Wisdom and Understanding
“But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
Pure gold cannot be given in exchange for it,
Nor can silver be weighed as its price.” Job 28:12&15 NASB
“Blessed is a person who finds wisdom,
And one who obtains understanding.
For her profit is better than the profit of silver,
And her produce better than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14 NASB
How do we gain wisdom and understanding? Through living life, going through trials, failing, and waiting. As we live our lives we learn and better understand leading to wisdom.
“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1 Peter 1:6-7 NASB
This is the truth of what happens when God allows trials in our lives. It distresses us. But if we embrace the trial leaning into God rather than fighting Him, we are refined – tested by fire – and come precious and glorify God.
“But He knows the way I take;
When He has put me to the test, I will come out as gold.” Job 23:10 NASB
The LORD literally sees our ways; He sees us when we lie down and when we rise up. He knows our thoughts, the intentions of our hearts (Psalm 139). And our default – when life gets hard and we are waiting on Him – is usually sin.
I read too much, eat too much, binge-watch things on Netflix that I have no time for, worry and plan, and re-plan. Idolatry and sin come knocking at my door.
The LORD tests Hearts
None of those things surprise God.
“The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests hearts.” Proverbs 17:3
God looks deeply into our hearts and refines us. He loves us much too much to leave us immature and sinful. He is our refiner, the Great Creator of the Universe, who reached down through eternity to make a way for this relationship. While He initiated the relationship, He also does most of the work to maintain and grow the relationship.
Love. It is His love that tests our hearts and refines away the mess with trials and waiting, leaving us boldly beautiful – reflecting His image to the lost world around us.
Remembering what He is doing by allowing seasons of waiting helps us embrace the refining in our lives and walk in joy with HIm through those seasons.
Related Post: Knowing God as a Loving Father
Keep Doing The Last Thing He Said
But what if, instead of giving in to all the things our flesh says will help, we lean into God harder? Remember all the times He’s been faithful before and then remind yourself to trust that He will be faithful again.
What if we learn to be still and just trust God? Remember that we have dug deeply into what it means to be still? Give it to Him, all your fears and planning and selfish desires.
- Be still; let him fight, protect, provide, encourage, define and sustain you while you wait.
What if we just keep doing the last thing He said until He answers? What was that last thing?
- Keep loving your husband.
- Keep connecting with your kids.
- Just keep going to church and listening for His voice.
- Keep giving Him 10% of your income beleiving that He can do more with 90% in obedience than 100% in sin.
- Keep reading your BIble until it feels like the bread and honey He promised it is.
- Just keep going to work at the job He placed you at, shining His light to those lost people He put in your circle of influence.
- Keep going to ask the doctor for answers even if there seem to be no answers.
- Keep getting out of bed and changing clothes and taking a shower and brushing your teeth because God is not done with you!
How do you keep doing the last thing He said while waiting for Him to move your mountain?
Pray and Praise Through It
This is What to do while waiting on God. Pray. Pray through it. With every breath, talk to God about all the things.
- When you feel hopeless, pray.
- When you have doubts, pray.
- As you feel like giving up, pray.
- When you see a glimmer of Him moving, pray.
- When everyone is pushing you to move but you don’t think it’s Him, pray.
Pray in it, pray over it, pray through it.
I have seen God move to confirm that I needed to keep waiting by answering those crazy praisers in the midst of the trials. He comes alongside us, when we keep the lines of communication open, and says, “I am with you, don’t fear.”
And when we have prayed we praise. We watch every move He makes and we make a big deal out of HIM to everyone who will listen
God Answers Prayer
I am waiting for God to do a lot of things, answer a lot of things, give direction in a lot of areas.
- For a clear answer about a Pastor.
- On God to remove a temptation.
- For God to help my husband with his things.
- For God to heal my body of pain and fatigue.
I am praying for a cure for Autism. Please God, heal my child. Connect her neuropathways, balance her hormonal fluctuations, breathe life to the parts of the brain that understand human feelings and expressions. Heal her.
So far he hasn’t answered that prayer with the “Yes” I am believing for.
Instead, He is teaching me to be patient, listen closer, be present, dig deeper to the root of problems, examine everything we eat or drink and so much more. He is making us better people, more loving and caring, and compassionate of people who don’t look or act like us.
Has God answered my prayer? I believe He is answering the prayer I should be praying. He is making us more like Him.
Will I stop praying for a cure for Autism? Not as long as I watch my baby struggle to make sense of the world around her. But I am embracing the waiting because I know God is using it to build a godly maturity in many.
Related Post: Autism Mom Burnout: 5 Key Strategies to Find Hope
What are You Waiting On God About?
Are you waiting on God for a job?
Tired of waiting on God for a husband?
Are you waiting on God’s timing?
Maybe you are waiting for a child, a home, a best friend, a cure, less pain, direction about what to do next. Whatever you are waiting on from the Lord, don’t give up hope!
He hears you. He cares about you. That impossible mountain you are trying to move, He sees it too.
Related Post: Powerful War Room Prayers for Spiritual Battle
Quotes About Waiting On God
Quotes are not usually my thing, but it helps to remember that there are others fighting this battle. We are not alone. We are not the first. Others have paved the road of waiting on God with grace and victory.
“Stand still” – keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.”Charles Spurgeon
“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”John Ortberg
Related Post: More Quotes about Waiting
Don’t Loose Hope While Waiting On God to Answer Prayer
This year as God has continues to bombard me with waiting on God Scriptures. The theme has been clear. There is still hope. He sees, cares, and is moving.
Every time I want to quit, give up, walk away, He reminds me that He is faithful. I can trust Him. He has done it before and so I can believe He will do it again. Every time!
I don’t know what you are facing today, but He does. Keep praying. Keep leaning in. Begin to embrace that He has something beautiful in store after the waiting time.
Remember that waiting on God is refining you like gold, producing wisdom and understanding, purified faith and refined character leading to Christlike maturity!
To partner with God in the process you need to just:
- Embrace the waitingLe
- an into God when it gets hot
- Keep doing the last right thing
- Pray through it
in HIS love,
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