The two most powerful forces that shape the world are to pray and to wait. The first (prayer) is obvious to the Christian; There are thousands of examples in Scripture and throughout history of prayers that have been answered that range from small answers in daily guidance to answers to the prayers of individuals that have changed the course of history. The fact that we who profess to believe are weak in faith does not change the powerful possibility of answered prayer that the Lord has promised. Make no mistake, there are elements of prayer that must be present in order for the Lord to hear and answer, like faith that He will answer, obedience to His precepts for living, fervency, importunity and a longing for His will. Nevertheless, “prayer changes things’ and is the greatest force available to man to affect change.

The second force that facilitates the answer to prayer is to wait. Just like there are elements to prayer that must be present to to be heard, there are elements to waiting that must occur. The wait is the SUBSTANCE OF CHRISTIAN LIVING and affords the believer the opportunity to correct things in his life that hinder his prayers. During this period of waiting, spiritual work is being performed and preparation is being made for the answer. But the point of all this is to recognize that the petitioner is not the one that brings about the answer. We do not pray and then go about to cause the thing to happen. Rather, we are to pray and repent of anything that is wrong in our life and then wait and continue to wait for the Lord to accomplish His work. To interfere and get ahead of the Lord will only bring about mistakes and hinder the perfect will and answer of the Lord.

“For since the beginning of the world, men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Is. 64;4)

“I have purposed it , I will also do it” (Is. 46;11)

We have the example of Jonah and the whale. The men on the ship were not believers until Jonah was thrown overboard. Then they repented and prayed to the God of heaven and the storm ceased. They, obviously, were not able themselves to calm the storm but the Lord was and did. Jonah was a very unwilling participant in all of this but after he was swallowed by the whale he repented and, out of necessity, waited until the Lord caused the fish to vomit him up on the shore. It was the Lords doing. The people of Nineveh, who this was all about, when they heard from Jonah about the impending disaster, repented and then waited for the Lord to accomplish deliverance, which He did. There are two major elements in all three of these examples. First there was prayer, then there was waiting for the Lord to answer, during which time there was repentance.

There is a promise from the Lord to those who pray and wait on Him. “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper…This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.” (Is. 54;17)

Pray, pray, the only way,
To reach the saints high ground;
Pray, pray the prayer of faith
Will bring God’s blessings down. (Pray, Pray in the Old-Time Way)

Posted on February 28th, 2014