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Do you Think God's Timetable is too slow to Answer your prayers?

 Do you think God's timetable is too slow for you in answering your prayers? We read in John chapter 11, where Mary and Martha sent word to their dear beloved friend Jesus to let him know their brother Lazarus was sick. Mary and Martha became impatient when Jesus didn’t come when they thought He should come to heal Lazarus. However, Jesus had different plans, He told the disciples, and “This sickness will not end in death, No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it”.  Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus very much but stayed in Galilee teaching and healing the sick until the time was right to go for God to be glorified.   

Two days later Jesus told his disciples that it was time to go to Judea to see Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. However, when they arrived, they learned that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha told Jesus, “If You had come sooner my brother would not have died.” Jesus was deeply moved as he went to the grave, asking to have the stone removed from the tomb but Martha said, “But Lord, he’s been dead four days and stinketh.” Jesus told her “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God”. Then Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out” and Lazarus came out of the tomb.   

 We can learn several lessons from this story. When we pray asking God for something, we get discouraged as Mary and Martha did because our prayer isn’t answered on our timetable. However, think of all the people Jesus had the opportunity to heal and teach during those two days. Jesus, God’s Son knew the Father’s plan was to glorify his Son by raising Lazarus from the dead, not to heal Lazarus. Isn't it great that when we think God is four days late by our timetable He is still on time?    

Our finite minds simply cannot grasp God’s infinite ways for answering our prayers. We have no idea how many times we have prayed and He is waiting for the proper time to answer. God often needs to work in our hearts, our character or the person we are praying for before he can answer our prayers. Gods way and timing is always perfect, he knows best, even when we think he is too late, He is still on time.    

  • Is God's timetable too slow for you at times?
  • Are you getting tired of waiting on God to answer your prayers?
  • Are you disappointed and frustrated because God is not answering on your timetable?
  • Does God want to develop character in your life or in the lives of your loved ones before He is ready to answer?
  • How do you respond when God does not answer your prayers according to your plans? 


Dear Father, I want to thank you for the privilege to bring my concerns to you.

Give me patience as I wait for you to work out your plan and your timing

to answer my prayers.

Help me to trust you and your Word as I wait for your answers to my prayers.

In Jesus Name, Amen

Lillian Penner




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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on April 29, 2016 at 11:21pm

Thanks, Lilian!  I believe that God's timing is as much a part of his answer to our prayers as the end result is.  My favorite healing story in the Gospels is in John 9 (the healing of the man born blind).  It's the only healing story in all the Gospels that takes an entire chapter.  I imagine the blind man's parents praying for his healing for years.  But God had an "imaginably more" answer in mind, and that answer required that healing wait for Jesus' ministry.  Instead of merely receiving physical sight, the blind man ended up also receiving spiritual sight.  Those years of waiting were the difference in eternity for him!  And everyone from Pharisees to the man's family was challenged with the claims of Christ.  God had a purpose in that waiting - it was that his glory be revealed in Jesus.

I don't believe that God "shelves" our prayers for an opportune time.  Rather, I believe that he begins to answer as soon as we pray - maybe even before.  We may not see the answer for some time, but that doesn't mean that it hasn't been in process.  As you mentioned, that process can take time - time for God to work in us and in others in order to bring honor to his name.  And isn't that ultimately the goal of our prayers anyway?

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