Why It Seems God Takes Time to Answer Prayers

Emmanuel Abimbola

Emmanuel Abimbola

Contributing Writer
Published Mar 28, 2024
Why It Seems God Takes Time to Answer Prayers

... waiting isn't a passive act; it's an active participation in the unfolding of God's plan.

It was a crisp summer evening, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed, clutching my phone like it held the secrets of the universe. Okay, maybe not the secrets of the universe, but certainly the answer to my fervent prayers. 

I had poured my heart out to God, pleading for guidance on a major life decision. As I refreshed my inbox for the umpteenth time, waiting for that one email that could change everything, I couldn't help but feel a familiar mix of anticipation and impatience wash over me.

At that moment, I realized something profound: waiting is hard. Whether it's waiting for a job offer, a health diagnosis, or simply clarity amid uncertainty, the waiting game is one we're all too familiar with. 

As Christians navigate the twists and turns of life, we often find ourselves wrestling with the age-old question: Why does it seem like God takes His sweet time to answer our prayers?

Take Abraham and Sarah, for instance. They were promised descendants more numerous than the stars, yet their journey to parenthood resembled a marathon of patience. 

I can almost imagine Sarah rolling her eyes at the thought of becoming a mom at ninety! But you know what? God, in His infinite wisdom, delivered on His promise, reminding us that His timing is perfect—even when it seems like an eternity to us.

And then there's David, the iconic shepherd-king, whose life was like a suspenseful drama with God as the ultimate Director. Imagine being anointed as king while still dodging spears from the current king! David's journey to the throne was a masterclass in waiting, but through it all, he clung to faith and found solace in God's promises. 

It's as if the Bible is whispering to us across the ages, saying, "Hey, you're not alone in this waiting game. Even the heroes of faith had to wait for their scripts to unfold."

Understanding God's Timing

To understand God's timing, we must first understand that He is actually teaching us to exercise patience in faith while we are thinking that He is taking too much time to answer our prayers. 

In a world that thrives on instant gratification, patience can feel like a forgotten virtue. It isn't just a virtue; it's a muscle that grows stronger as we exercise it. Think of patience as spiritual weightlifting—the more we wait, the stronger our faith becomes. 

The Bible shows us verses that highlight the beauty of patience, like a gentle reminder to savor the waiting process. James 5:7 whispers in our ears, "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth and hath long patience for it until he receives the early and latter rain." So, in the grand scheme of things, our waiting is not in vain—it's a vital ingredient in the recipe of faith.

God's Perspective on Time 

Our concept of time is like trying to fit an ocean into a teacup, whereas God sees the entire ocean from a mountaintop. His perspective, encompassing eternity, is beyond our comprehension. Imagine standing on the edge of a vast canyon. We see a snapshot, while God sees the panoramic view. 

His answers, nestled in the folds of eternity, may take longer to reach us, but rest assured, they come at the perfect moment. It's like waiting for a breathtaking sunrise; the anticipation makes the moment all the more spectacular. 

In 2 Peter 3:8, the Bible nudges us gently, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." So, when it seems like God is taking His time, remember that His clock ticks to the rhythm of eternity.

Waiting isn't just a pause; it's a transformative journey. It's in the waiting that we find our resilience, our character is molded, and our faith is forged in the crucible of patience. God's delays aren't detours; they're divine classrooms where we learn profound lessons about trust, surrender, and perseverance.

God's Timing Is a Catalyst for Spiritual Growth 

Consider this waiting period as a spiritual greenhouse where the seeds of your faith are nurtured into mighty oaks. It's in the waiting that we learn to dance with hope, even when the music of our prayers seems to be on pause. It's a bit like waiting for a cake to bake—you can't rush the process, but oh, the sweet reward at the end is worth it.

God’s wisdom ensures that every delay, every seemingly unanswered prayer, is part of a masterpiece we can't fully grasp. Therefore, in moments of doubt, lean on Proverbs 3:5-6, which advises us to "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Trusting God's plan is like following a GPS—even if the route seems confusing, it ultimately leads to the destination.

Therefore, when it seems like God is taking His time, keep in mind that you are actually taking part in a magnificent symphony that has been masterfully orchestrated by a loving and sovereign God.

Practical Tips for Waiting Well 

Alright, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of waiting well. Because, let's face it, waiting is an art form, and we're about to become the Picasso of patience.

First and foremost, let's talk about prayer. During those seasons of waiting, don't just toss prayers into the ether; infuse them with intention. Pour out your heart like a good chat with your best friend over coffee. 

Share your hopes, fears, and dreams; be raw and real. In those quiet moments, engage in self-reflection. It's like holding up a mirror to your soul, examining the nooks and crannies of your thoughts and emotions. And guess what? You're not alone in this waiting game. 

The Bible is your ultimate survival guide for the waiting room. It's not just a dusty book; it's a treasure trove of wisdom, comfort, and strength. When the waiting gets tough, turn to the Scriptures like you'd turn to your favorite playlist for a pick-me-up. Isaiah 40:31 should become your anthem: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint." 

When impatience threatens to knock on your door, let Psalm 27:14 be your reminder: "Wait on the Lord, of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait, I say, on the Lord." It's like a gentle nudge from God, encouraging you to stay true.

Consider creating a "waiting well" journal. Jot down your prayers, reflections, and snippets of wisdom from your scriptural explorations. It's not just a diary; it's a tangible reminder of your journey, a roadmap showcasing your growth through the waiting seasons. Plus, it's a fantastic way to look back and marvel at the faithfulness of God in His perfection.

Dear believers, let us embrace the waiting with unwavering trust. Trust God's timing; it's impeccable, like a well-choreographed dance. Remain steadfast in faith, knowing that even in the silence, God is at work, aligning the pieces of your story for a magnificent climax. 

And remember, waiting isn't a passive act; it's an active participation in the unfolding of God's plan.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/franckreporter

Emmanuel Abimbola headshotEmmanuel Abimbola is a creative freelance writer, blogger, and web designer. He is a devout Christian with an uncompromising faith who hails from Ondo State in Nigeria, West Africa. As a lover of kids, Emmanuel runs a small elementary school in Arigidi, Nigeria.