Bible Reading: Luke 18:1-17
Have you ever prayed about something and felt like God didn’t hear you because nothing happened? Or, maybe you felt like God just put your prayer on hold? Well, guess what…He may have done just that. But, He’s got a good reason if He does. Why doesn’t God just immediately answer our prayers? Read on…
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
“Can I put you on hold for a moment?” I had just returned a phone call to a business and the operator asked if she could put me on hold. My answer was, “No.” I didn’t call to be put on hold. My time is as important as hers. But she didn’t hear me because she didn’t wait to hear…she just immediately put me on hold. Here I was, politely returning a phone call to their company…and she put me on hold. “How rude!” So…I sat there…and listened to elevator music that sounded scratchy like they had a bad radio signal, or something…and sat there…and sat there…then, a recording came on saying that they would be right with me…and I sat there…and sat there…then the recording came on, again…and finally, after 5 minutes…I hung up. I was done. If they want to speak with me…they are going to have to call me…and I just might put them on hold. Ha, ha!
I read a study the other day about being put on hold. It said that 13 minutes is the boiling point. That is about the longest that anyone will stay on the phone when they have been put on hold. However, most people will have already hung up. They will not even stay on hold that long. 58.7% will not wait longer than 5 minutes. 27.6% will hang up if they have to wait more than one single minute. And, our frustration level begins to increase after only 20 seconds.
So, if someone puts you on hold…why would you not just immediately hang up? I guess that there are several reasons why you would stay on hold…
- the person that you are talking with is important and you don’t want to hang up on them;
- the reason for our call is important and we want something to be done;
- or, we believe that the person we are talking to is the one who can really do something about our request.
Hang in there…or, hold on there…they’ll be right back. The recording said so…the third time.
Have you ever prayed and felt like God put you on hold? You prayed about something…and didn’t get an immediate answer. It was as if God was saying, “I’m going to put that prayer on hold, for a moment.” On hold? For a moment? What’s that all about? “I don’t want to be put on hold. I want an answer…now!”
How long will you stay on hold with God? What is your timeline on prayer? How much time do you give God to answer a prayer…before you stop praying? Do you have a deadline? “Okay, God, here is my prayer. I would like to have an answer within the next, oh, let’s say, 2 days. Please have Your people get back in touch with my people. Amen.” So, what happens, if after 2 days…nothing? You don’t get an answer. What are you going to do, now? After all, you clearly gave God a deadline and He hasn’t met it. And, it’s not like you can call the complaint department.
Why would God put your prayer on hold? Why would God want you to pray about something more than once? Let me suggest a few different possible reasons…
- Because He may want to answer your prayer, but in a way that is different from your specific request. He wants you to realize this and for you to then redirect your prayer, to change it up a little…so that you will see it answered. But, it may take a little time for you to realize that this is what is going on (not saying that you’re hard-headed, or anything…well, maybe a little).
- Because you are making a wrong request and He wants you to realize it. He’s not going to answer a prayer…that is wrong.
- Because He may be using you as an example for someone else. He is teaching them how to be faithful in praying.
Prayer is an expression of faith in God. You wouldn’t be praying…if you didn’t believe that something would happen, as a result. So, there is a question that you need to consider. Will you be faithful to continue praying…even when your prayers are not being answered? That’s what Jesus asked. He questioned if He would find people being faithful, praying, when He returns to the earth…or, if they would have quit because they did not receive an answer quick enough.
Whether you continue to pray, or not, reveals what you really believe about God. It reveals if you think that He is…
- attentive and aware of your situation
- kind and benevolent in His attitude towards you
- righteous and just in the way He responds
- timely in His response to your prayers.
And, if you are faithful and continue praying, even when you are not getting an immediate answer to your prayer, it also reveals some things about you…
- your faith in God is not based on answered prayer
- your worship of God is not based on answered prayer.
God is God…and you will continue to pray to Him and worship Him…no matter what. You may never find out why God put your prayer on hold…but remember, God never, ever puts you on hold. For whatever reason, if God does not answer your prayer immediately, or the way that you think He should…if God chooses to put your prayer on hold…it is the best and the right thing for you. Keep praying. He is more important than anyone you will ever talk with. He is interested in your prayers. He has the power and wisdom to answer your prayers.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,