The Waiting Prayer – Part 4 of 5 Learning About Prayer

Each morning and evening (and often in between), as I turn the pages of my well-worn, beloved Bible, I search for pictures of my sweetheart, Hilda, which I have tucked in at specific pages. These pages contain promises which the Lord has given to me about my life together with Hilda in eternity. These promises of Jesus to me about Hilda, are written in the margin, with the dates when I’ve received them. They remind me of how often we have to wait for what (or whom) we most want.

On January 9, 1981, the Holy Spirit (who is Jesus without limits and speaks Jesus’ words to us in a personal way), gave me a promise from these verses in Hebrews 10:35-36…

“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

The promise Jesus gave me then was that Hilda and I would be married. In the meantime, I needed to not lose my confident trust in this promise for it would have an amazingly wonderful reward. I would need patience (it took about 16 months before we were married, on May 1, 1982), so I would need to continue to do God’s will, to receive this promise.

On January 27, 2023, a couple of weeks after Hilda joined Jesus in Heaven, Jesus told me in a reassuring, comforting vision that this promise applies to me all over again. Hilda and I would be re-united in a beautiful way for eternity. As you have probably read before, I can hardly wait, but need to remain confidently trusting Jesus’ promise. I need to wait patiently and continue to do God’s will for me. Part of that is being here with our son, Daniel. I believe Holy Spirit, living inside me, will help me keep trusting in Jesus, live patiently and help me know and do God’s will for me during this time.

Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit You Cannot Rush

Someday, I expect that this promise will be fulfilled by my loving Heavenly Father. I’m learning that waiting plays an enormous role in our relationship with God. It is God’s way of teaching us to trust that His power is real and He can answer our prayers without manipulation and help from us.

During what seems like a long, waiting period, a spurt of astonishing spiritual growth can take place. God is starting to do that in my life right now. I’m spending more time in His Word, prayer, listening for His still, small voice, reading books, still learning and growing. I’m allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart, and even share what He puts on my heart with you. Hopefully I’m growing in patience, in my love for the Lord and for those around me. I want to hear the voice of His Spirit and obey Him by “abiding in Him.”

This is the lesson of John 15, “Life in the Vine.” During the waiting period, we learn the great secret of “abiding in Jesus” who is the vine. We are the branches, the Holy Spirit is like the sap flowing into us from Jesus, our vine, and we are tended by the gardener, our Heavenly Father. We branches do not have to stretch and strain to produce good fruit. We simply remain connected to the “Vine” (Jesus), so that the life-giving sap of the Holy Spirit can flow into us. That is the requirement for us branches to bear much fruit.

God has His own timing for the answer to each prayer. He alone knows the changes required in us before we can receive our hearts’ desires. He knows the external events that must take place before our prayer can be answered. Jesus told us “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power.” (Acts 1:7).

While We Wait on God, He is Growing Us

The Father seems to use waiting as a tool to bring us the very best of His gifts. The children of Israel waited generations for freedom from their slavery in Egypt. They also waited many more generations for the Saviour, Jesus, to be born into the world. Jesus brought people the Great News of God’s love for them and that through Jesus dying for them, they could have their sins forgiven. They could now have a personal relationship with God, and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.

Here are a few more promises of God for those who wait on Him…

“The Lord is wonderfully good to those who wait for him, to those who seek for him.” (Lamentations 3:25).

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

“For since the world began no one has seen or heard of such a God as ours, who works for those who wait for him!” (Isaiah 64:4)

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Waiting develops our “faith-in-God” muscles. Waiting demands patience, persistence, trust and expectancy, qualities that God wants to give us. Waiting is the joining of man and God to achieve an end. Much like the Easter story, when Jesus died, all looked black. But, three days later came Easter, and the world of Jesus’ disciples was filled with light again. When trouble comes, give God a chance, and wait on Him.

Join me in this prayer of waiting if God is speaking to you…

Lord Jesus, I am puzzled about the Father’s timing. I’ve been praying about _____________________. I’ve been trying to be patient about the answer. But why does it have to move so slowly? I know Your ways are not my ways, Lord. I want to be teachable. Help me to “abide” in You as I wait. If you need to change me or my attitudes before You answer my prayer, I give You permission to do so. Give me eyes that see, and ears that hear what you are saying to me. As I abide in You, let Your life, the Holy Spirit, flow into me. Let me be patient and confident that the Father has everything that concerns me in His control. Thank you Jesus, for a more glorious answer to prayer than I can even imagine.

I’ll join you someday, darling Hilda.

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