BE PATIENT WHEN GOD DELAYS

We are often perplexed at why God doesn’t speedily answer some of our prayers. I am not talking of situations where we are praying amiss, sin is preventing us from being blessed or the devil is standing on some other grounds to hinder our miracles. Yes, there are occasions when we are responsible directly or indirectly for not receiving what God has promised us as stated in Isaiah 59:1-2.

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (KJV).

There are also times when contrary powers, using human or spiritual agents, delay our expectations. The Bible gives an example from the life of Daniel. He had been praying for three weeks and an angel appeared to him. This is what he said:

… “’Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.'” (NLT)

A territorial power had held up the angel despatched by God in response to Daniel’s prayer until a higher-ranking angel intervened.* But in the cases I’m concerned about, you know you have prayed through. The indications are there. You have peace in your spirit about the matter. God is constantly assuring you that He will do it, for instance, through direct words of prophecy from other believers or scriptures He quickens in your heart. Yet, the miracle does not manifest.

This is a common experience among believers. Many will tell you that the issue in question should have been resolved years ago but all they have are the promises of God. Abraham felt that way. He waited twenty-five years before God gave Him his son, Isaac. Within that time, God sometimes came to reaffirm His promise.

On one occasion, Abraham laughed because of how old he and his wife had grown. He more or less told God to just preserve Ishmael and he would be satisfied (Genesis 17:15-18). What was that? The father of faith seemed to be losing confidence that God would come through and asked for the sustenance of his “bird in the hand”.

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And how did Ishmael come about? Sarah brought up the idea that since having her own biological child had proved elusive, her husband should get her a child through her maid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-3). But even before Ishmael was born, conflict arose in the family due to the changed relations introduced by Sarah’s arrangement (vs 4-6). It continued after Isaac, Sarah’s son, was born. Eventually, Abraham had to take the heart-breaking step of sending Ishmael and his mum away not only due to the conflict but because they were not originally part of God’s programme (Genesis 21:8-14).

We just need to hang in there when God has given us His word on a matter. Trying to make it happen by ourselves can complicate our lives and those of other people as we’ve seen in the story of Abraham. I’m not by any means saying it is easy to just stay and wait. But we have resources in this day and age which Abraham didn’t have. We have the written word of God. We also have the indwelling Holy Spirit and brethren who can uphold us through prayer and Bible-based counsel. We should take full advantage of these resources to encourage ourselves when the situation depresses us.

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The good thing is that God knows the end from the beginning. He is also the Master of the universe. So it’s impossible that He will be late in the real sense of it. He only seems late to us because we have a different way of reckoning time from Him. We see this in the singer’s address to God in Psalm 90:4.

“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (KJV).

We also don’t see the whole picture. Perhaps, there are things God wants to accompany the miracle and He’s fashioning them out or there are circumstances He wants to put in place before the miracle. It could also be that God, by His Spirit, wants to prepare us to be able to faithfully steward what we are asking of Him. Surely, we don’t want to be swept away by the miracle from God Himself.

Therefore, there’s no chance that God’s blessing will be useless when it arrives or fall short of its purpose. It will meet the need for which God sent it and will amaze us in how beneficial and suited to us it will be. I have seen this happen in many instances like marriage, job search and material blessing because God specialises in making everything beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

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Scriptural references: (KJV)
Lamentations 3:25-26
“The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”
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*If you are experiencing delays and setbacks due to sin or demonic attacks, repenting of one’s sins and asking God for pardon will settle the first case. The second requires persistence in prayer, sometimes accompanied with fasting. If the problem continues, bringing those with higher anointing into the matter would be helpful.
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Prayer:
Father, thank You for loving us so completely. Help us to be right with You and to know that You are working out the thorny issues we are facing. Help us, Lord, to align ourselves with Your programme for our lives and Your timing for You are a faithful God and You will surely perfect the things that concern us. This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

50 comments

  • flawlex ifeanyi

    Gods time is the best and it will continue to be. There’s no two ways about it

    • Edith Ohaja

      You’re right, Flawlex, and you are blessed!

    • Adonu Ifeanyichukwu B

      An ultimate faith in God is the best ingredient to a happy and fulfilling Christian Life. When we make supplications in faith, we should be patient with God to answer us in his time and not in our own timing. Our timing may be wrong but God’s timing is the best. Also, when we pray, we should ensure that our sins are not hindering God from coming to our rescue.

  • WAITING TIME IS NOT WASTING TIME.THANKS FOR YOUR WRITE-UP. YOU ARE A GIFT TO THIS GENERATION. PATIENCE IS A GIFT AND MY PRAYER IS TO CULTIVATE THIS HABIT.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Thank you, Iheanyi! I say Amen to your prayer. The Bible says that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.

  • This is a wonderful piece indeed!

  • Eze Benjamin Oduma

    Being patient is always our problem, if only we can wait on God even when we think he tarries, then, only the sky will be our limit.The Lord is good, all the time!

  • GraciousGift

    But often at times you feel perplexed over a situation especially when answers are not forth coming and and things keeps going amiss in your life. you’ve got no other option than to feel dejected!………………………

    • Edith Ohaja

      Seweetheart, you have an option. If you are in the Lord, you can draw on the comfort and encouragement of His Spirit even when nothing seems to be making sense in your life. You are blessed!

  • Ezeigwe Martin

    This is absolutely true. Sometimes God has his reasons for delaying our prayer wishes. It might be because of our sins or maybe the time to grant such wish is not good enough.

  • Ekechukwu Nkechi

    wonderful! i concur with everything u said. indeed God answers prayers in his time, he knows best. Thank u aunty edith for reminding us to keep having faith.

  • Akwolu Chiamaka MaryAnn

    I love the graphics the story came with. God may seem slow in answering us when we need help in our lives, But when He does answer, He answers with everything He’s got. And his gifts are free. Better to wait it out till God answers than have the Devil coming to my aid.

  • Ike Faustina Uchechukwu

    At times our sins are hindrances to our prayers so pray to God for forgiveness and also have patience for Gods time is the best.

  • Ishiwu Victor Chinonso

    It is so said that “a thousand days is like a single day before God; and a single day is like a thousand days”. David in the bible prayed for a large number of days before he was answered. The word of the Lord made us to understand that at the appointed time, He will favour you beyond your imagination. Always be patient and wait for Gods time, His time is the best

  • Okpe Nnedinso

    God’s time will always be the best…thank u ma for this encouraging piece……Our good Lord will always bless you..Amen

  • UMEREMADU CHETACHUKWU ESTHER

    It’s always good for us to wait for God’s time. But I ask that God will help us to learn how to be patient. Most times we tend to miss out of prepared blessings for us simply because of impatience. Patience is one thing I know people struggle with a lot. But with God by our side, we can really come out of it, if we ask it of him. Nice one ma, well done.

  • Irrefutability of God’s promises is without questioning. We all, at some points in our lives, have failed our own words; other gods pathetically fail their followers or are eviscerated by their own words. But our God sticks around, watches his words come to pass in our lives and lives forever.

  • Thank you for the Bible lesson today !! I liked it so much, I shared on Grandma Mary Martha facebook <3

  • SAMUEL GODSGIFT AKACHUKWU

    as a Christian, the most difficult times are usually when we ask God for one favour or the other and he is yet to answer. we might decide to take the laws into our hands and do several unedifying things that will chase the spirit of God away. i have learnt to be patient and hope for the best even when it seems heaven is silent. i know my redeemer liveth.

  • AKWOLU CHIAMAKA

    god is not a magician. sometimes when we ask for one favour or the other, it will take time to come to pass. the best will yet come. sometimes, those delays are actually test meant to identify how much we love God and how dedicated we are to waiting on him. though it may tarry, a Christian should exercise patience and hope on God for anything. though weeping last through the night, joy cometh in the morning.

  • EZENWA CHINENYE EVANGELINE

    ONCE IN MY LIFE, A FRIEND HAD CONFIDED IN ME ABOUT SOME DIFFICULT FAMILY SITUATIONS AND WANTED US TO PRAY ABOUT IT. WE DID BUT ANSWERS WERE NOT FORTH COMING. SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS TIRED OF WAITING FOR GOD TO MANIFEST HIS POWERS AND DECIDED TO MAKE SOME MONEY ON HER OWN IN A WRONG WAY. UNFORTUNATELY, THE STORY ENDED ON A SAD NOTE AND THEN IT DAWNED ON ME THAT PATIENCE IS A CHRISTIAN VIRTUE AND IF WE BELIEVE IN GOD THEN OUR LIFE WILL TAKE A BETTER TURN NO MATTER THE DELAY.

  • Ogbobi Blessing Ojonoma

    Patience is an important virtue in a daily life of a Christian, sincerely it difficult but it’s the best, it not by saying but must be put into practice. Since God is involve, the delay is for a reason, He got perfect plans in mind for us…..be patient and see things working out for your good according to His plans!

  • Chioma Harmony

    I was taught in Sunday school that God has three answers to our prayers-yes, no and wait. This is because He is all-knowing. His time is the best.

  • Amana Sharon Umola

    The ways of God is far different from the ways of man. We should wait on him because He is the all knowing God and he knows best.

  • Aleke Juliet

    Our God is indeed a merciful God and answers our prayers whenever we call

  • God’s time is always d best…. Sometimes we feel God don’t answer prayer. He does but He waits for the appointed time… We have a merciful Father…..

  • Anabude oluchi m.

    Whatever God does is perfect and beautiful and most of the Time we are so much in a hurry and would not be patient with God and try to do our own way but the fact remains that in any point in our lives when we think God is not responding to our problems immediately does not mean he is not aware but he is working it out for our interest and the perfect way all we need to do is continue to trust in him that he is and he will.

  • Emeka joy

    As they say “God’s time is the best” we should wait for the right time from God

  • Ellanora

    God fixes things in his own time, there is no rush in life.

  • Okoilu olawole ebenezer

    God will surely perfect the things concerning us, in Jesus’ name. “Perhaps, there are things God wants to accompany the miracle and He’s fashioning them out or there are circumstances He wants to put in place before the miracle” I totally agree with you ma’am.

  • Victor Nzubechi

    We should not always be worried when any promise of God is delayed. God honors his words more than his name. So he will surely keep his promises.

  • ologhofor sampson

    Just like the adage that say, ” A patient dog eat the fattest born”, that is how “destiny can belayed but not denied”. Am a victim to this during my time of struggles to enter the university. After trying 2 times and it seems all hope was lost, I kept on hoping on God and following thing patiently with prayers by then, my twin brother was already in his 200 level in University of Nigeria Nsukka. Finally, God blessed me with admission into the same institution. If I wasn’t patient, I would have made the wrong choice and miss what Gods plans for me.

  • Joseph joy

    As a Christian we need to be Patience, God’s grace to us ijn ??amen

  • Joseph joy

    God’s time is the best for us !

  • egbo Rita Somtochukwu

    We should learn to be patient when it seems like our prayers and supplications to God is not forth coming. God has a plan for us, he knows the beginning from the end and also knows when to show himself forth for us. He knows the right time to bless us that will make the miracle permanent for us. We should be steadfast in him, serve him and share his words that people may believe that he is still God instead of doubting if our prayers will be answered.

  • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

    I strongly believe that God’s time is the best no matter what.
    We should learn to be Patient especially in difficult times.
    May God help us all.

  • Adonu Ifeanyichukwu B

    An ultimate faith in God is the best ingredient to a happy and fulfilling Christian Life. When we make supplications in faith, we should be patient with God to answer us in his time and not in our own timing. Our timing may be wrong but God’s timing is the best. Also, when we pray, we should ensure that our sins are not hindering God from coming to our rescue.

  • Irawaji Itongikunyiowaji Praise

    In delaying, God could be testing our faith in him and our patience, we should be sure to persevere in prayers and good deeds having faith that God would answer. We could get courage from those in the Bible who had to wait long before God answered their prayers.

  • Brown Bethel Ogadimma

    Patience is one virtue that everyone needs. Gods time is the best, but the question is, how many of us can wait for Gods time. We think our patience is turning to long suffering, that’s why we rush in conclusions.

  • Ugwu Chiamaka

    God answers yes, no and not yet. Over the years I’ve learn to trust him and whatever answers I got after prayers because He is the author and finisher of our fate and His time is always the best.

  • Bessong Faith A.

    God is not a man that fails. Neither does he say a word and goes back on it. We should not always be worried when any promise of God is delayed. God honors his words more than his name. He will surely promises.

  • Richards Orighomisan

    Even the bible made it clear to us that God’s ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not ours and his ways are mysterious. If only man could be patient with Him and not ruin His plans by our acts of impatience, then we would understand the aspect of Him that says “OUR GOD IS NEVER IN A HURRY, BUT LIKEWISE, HE IS NEVER LATE”

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