Thursday, March 31, 2022

Why the Wait?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT).

The most difficult response to accept is no response at all.

When we pray for something repeatedly, it’s hard to understand why God doesn’t answer us in the affirmative. One possibility is there may be something going on behind the scenes. There may be a spiritual battle raging that we know nothing about.

We find an interesting story in Daniel 10 where an angel appeared to Daniel and said he had been dispatched from Heaven with an answer to Daniel’s prayer, but he was delayed for 21 days by “the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia” (verse 13 NLT). As a result, God sent Michael the archangel to come to his rescue.

Another reason God may not answer our prayer in the affirmative is that we have unconfessed sin in our lives. The psalmist wrote, “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Psalm 66:18 NLT).

Isaiah 59:1–2 tells us, “Listen! The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore” (NLT).

It’s a good idea to pray what the psalmist prayed: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; . . . point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT).

God cannot forgive the sin we will not confess. We should regularly pause before the Lord in prayer and say, “Lord, if there’s anything in my life that is displeasing to You, if I’m engaged in any pursuit that is outside of Your will, would You show that to me?”

I believe that’s a prayer God will hear and answer in the affirmative.

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