“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalms 27:14 NIV
A few years ago, while visiting my folks in Indiana, I had the occasion to drive my sister-in-law Lynn's Smart Car. Now I had ridden in it before -- faster and roomier than you would think -- but had never driven it. I pulled up to the traffic light to cross the four-lane highway and waited for the light to change, and waited, then waited some more. There were long breaks in the traffic, but the light would not change. I thought, “Is there something wrong with the traffic signal?” It was only after a larger vehicle pulled up next to me to turn right that the light recognized the presence of another car and changed almost immediately. I was finally able to cross the road.
Sometimes waiting for our prayers to be answered seems like that. We see the world speeding by us while we wait, wait, and then wait some more for a response. Like me sitting at the traffic light, we become impatient and think there must be something wrong; otherwise, why isn't our prayer answered. Are we so small, or our request so insignificant that God doesn't notice us? We become fogged by selective amnesia, for if we recall the past, we recount other times when He has heard and answered. In those times of doubt, we must draw on the strength of the Holy Spirit and take heart, remaining patient and trusting in God. He will answer our prayer! Sometimes the answer may come in an unexpected form, like a car pulling up next to us.
God, we give you thanks for answered prayer. We confess we become impatient in the waiting, and we begin to doubt; forgive us, we pray. We know that you hear and respond and that the weakness is in us. We ask for strength in these times to keep believing, to renew our hope. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.