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Is God's timetable too slow for you? I have to admit God’s timetable is slower than my timetable. In John 11, we read about the death of Lazarus. Mary and Martha sent word to their dear beloved friend Jesus to let him know their brother Lazarus had become very ill. They expected Jesus to heal their brother, but he did not come, and they wondered why. 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”. He loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus very much but stayed in Galilee teaching and healing the sick.  

Two days later Jesus told his disciples that it was time to go to Judea to see Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When they arrived, they learned that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha told Jesus that if he had come sooner, her brother would not have died. Nevertheless, Jesus went to the grave deeply moved, asking to have the stone removed from the tomb. 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 he does not answer immediately or on our timetable. However, think of all the people Jesus had the opportunity to heal and teach during those two days. Jesus was God’s Son and knew the Father’s plan and His timetable. It was not God’s plan to heal Lazarus. He wanted to glorify his Son by raising Lazarus from the dead. Isn’t it fantastic that when we think God is four days late by our timetable, however, He is still on time?  

Our finite minds just cannot grasp God’s infinite ways of answering our prayers. We have no idea how many times we have prayed, and He is waiting for the proper time to respond. Sometimes God needs to work in our hearts, our character, or another person before he can answer our prayers. We often have to remind ourselves that God’s way and timing are perfect. He knows best! Even when we think God is too late, He is still on time.

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

Prayer: 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 you to answer my prayers. In Jesus Name, Amen  

Learn about the prayer ministry for grandparents on our website:

By Lillian Penner, Co-director of the prayer ministry of Christian Grandparenting Network,



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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on March 7, 2018 at 9:03am

What great words of wisdom!  Thanks, Lillian!  I often find not only that God's timetable is different than mine, but his purposes are also different.  In the story you quoted, Mary and Martha had a purpose in asking Jesus to come - that of saving their brother from death.  But Jesus had a different purpose - that God's glory would be known.  Sometimes that overriding purpose dictates a different course of action than what I've prayed for, and I'm trying to learn to focus more on God's purposes than on my own.

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