Do I Have Too Many Waiting Prayers?

I pray for many people each day.

Maybe you do, too.

I confess that as I prayed through my prayer list for some of my family and friends this week, I felt a degree of frustration. The answers we seek have been very s l o w  in coming. In my mind, the answers appear far beyond reach and definitely out of sight.

I could shout a similar appeal as David once did,

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Why are you so far from saving my friends and family, so far from the words of my groaning?

New International Version, Psalm 22:1

What am so concerned about and why am I groaning and crying out for answers to come?

My friends are hurting.

And when they hurt, I hurt.

I have friends who are literally trying to buy bread for their families in a country where hyper-inflation makes all food purchases categorically and undeniably unconscionable.

I have friends – both near and far –  who are discouraged. Really discouraged.

I have friends who live in destitute poverty every single day.

I have friends who are struggling with loss.

I have friends who are healing from recent accidents and their recovery is slow.

I have friends who are disillusioned and disheartened, and they wonder if there is any hope for the future.

I have friends with heart-sore, scary concerns for their families.

I have friends who are living with devastating, life-altering illnesses.

I have friends who are working through a season of unemployment.

I have friends who are grappling with misunderstanding and betrayal.

I have friends and family who I have been praying, and praying, and praying, and praying, and praying for a breakthrough to come to address the very real needs in their lives.

And honestly?

The wait has been long.

And hard.

And frustrating.

Some of my friends and family have been stretched to a point that I consider unreasonable and unfair.

Sure.

I know this is life.

Life is hard.

Life is tough.

Life is definitely unfair.

But honestly?

I feel like I have too many waiting prayers.

How much longer must they endure this hardship? This season of pain and misunderstanding? This destitution? This degree of corruption and fraud????

Where do I go to lay my complaints?

In my mind, there is no other place to go to offer up my lament, my complaint, and my woe.

I seek out my God.

My God.

To whom do I take my petition?

My God.

To whom do I ask for supply and provision?

My God.

To whom do I beg for healing and help?

My God.

It is interesting to note that after David’s lamentable cries in Psalm 22, we are led to the first verse of Psalm 23.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

New International Version, Psalm 23:1

Did you catch the first phrase?

The Lord is my shepherd

Even as David laments his need and want in the previous psalm, David declares his Lord, Jesus Christ as provider, protector and preserver and shepherd of his life. David acknowledges that he is fully dependent upon his Lord for guidance, for favor, for health, and for supply. David claims with full assurance that when the Lord is his shepherd, he lacks no good, temporal thing on earth.

David found his pasture in Jesus Christ where all need of sustenance is met.

We can, too.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never by thirsty.”

New International Version, John 6:35

He who believes in me as the Scriptures said, “From his innermost being will flow living water.”

New International Version, John 7:38

David discovered his salvation and his righteousness were in Jesus Christ.

We can, too.

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness….”

New International Version, Isaiah 61:10

David believed that his Savior was his shelter and his rest.

We can, too.

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.

New International Version, Matthew 11:28

That’s me.

I am wearied and burdened for my friends and my family and their significant cares and concerns.

The question I lay before myself is this…is my Lord and Savior all-sufficient to handle each and every prayer I send his way?

“Of course, He is,” I respond.

He is not an absent, nor an uncaring Lord and Savior. He is mindful of every matter I bring before him.

I acknowledge that Jesus refreshes, guides, protects, and loves my family and my friends.

I am confident of his care.

Then, what is my problem???

Why am I so impatient for my shepherd to move in a specific direction for each of my family and friends – in the way that I think he needs to get moving?

My answer?

It’s difficult to see my friends and family hurting and hurting for so long. I would like this difficult season to be over for them. I’d like them to experience relief. I’d like them not to feel so troubled and so lost and so forlorn. I’d like them to feel confident and sure that they are loved by their Lord and he’s got their back.

I’d like them to know that they are in a safe, sheltered, sustaining pasture with their Lord, their Savior, and their Shepherd – all the time.

That’s it then.

That’s what I want.

I want Jesus to make himself fully known to my friends and family in their unique-to-them struggle and strife as their companion and friend.

Maybe the breakthrough to my prayers begins with a declaration – like David’s at the start of Psalm 23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

The Lord is the shepherd of my friends and family’s lives, they shall lack no good thing.

You know what?

Sometimes, I just need to write my cares, my concerns, my feelings out in order to reach a place of confident trust once again.

Maybe you can relate?

So, here we go…

This is my prayer today.

My Precious Lord,

You are the shepherd of my friends and family. I pray that they will declare that you are their shepherd in their present life circumstances. I pray that they will find refreshment and strength in your pasture. I pray that they will remember that they are clothed beautifully in the robes of your righteousness and salvation. May they experience your rest and your peace even as we continue to seek you for answers that are very slow in coming. May we remember that our joy and our delight are in you – in the here and now and in the age to come.

Yes, Lord.

You are our Shepherd.

It is to you that we come.

You are our confidence and our trust.

Amen

Recently, I discovered a band called Colony House. I’ve been listening to and singing one of their songs quite a bit this week as I wait for God to answer my prayers. It’s an upbeat song that encourages me.

Take a listen if you are so inclined…

Image retrieved from https://www.biblestudytools.com/psalms/23.html

6 thoughts on “Do I Have Too Many Waiting Prayers?

  1. Heather, I, too, have felt a burden of extra time involved for so many with their unique struggles. I have cried out to God asking “why,” but of course my questions are still there. Your words echo mine and the song was comforting. I see why you have been singing it. I think I will be singing this week too. In the meantime, the Lord is my Shepherd!

    1. I am praying with you, my friend! Thank you for sharing with me, Shara. Love you, heather

  2. Thank you for that encouragement!. I know exactly the frustration and discouragement and disappointment as I watch loved ones make “wrong” decisions. How do I knoe they are wrong? because they don’t appear right in my sight. : ) How long OH GOD will they be so blind. I am so impatient and anxious. Yet I KNOW the LORD knows best and even as we hurt from watching others hurt. (how con it be?) it is somehow for our good. So we keep on praying and hurting and waiting for that break thru’ when we can jump for joy and sing and Praise with loud Hallelujahs. The pain of watching those who are without food or means to get food is so unthinkable and I know praying is not futile, but…it doesn’t quickly fill a hungry belly. Oh GOD of might and power. PLEASE hear our cry.

    1. Thank you for your care and your prayers, Shirley, Our Lord Jesus is our Shepherd and it is my prayer – my unceasing prayer – that He responds to and affirms our prayers as He prays and intercedes for our loves and our concerns too. May our Lord’s companionship and care encourage you today! Love, heather

  3. I have been incredibly discouraged lately. Last night I wrote a letter to my husband, who may or may not be able to manage any of my issues, let alone real discouragement and frustration, but I wrote it, and just as I was about to send, The Lord stopped me, and I deleted it. I had actually started down that road of apathy and severe self pity. (I am still there, but looking…up) That road where I feel like none of my prayers are heard for myself and my situation and for my friends and family. This morning the sermon was on….discouragement, apathy, and self pity. Thank God He was with me last night before I sent the letter. Thank God He had a message for me this morning. Thank God He hears and knows where we are long before we cry out. If nothing else changes except my attitude, including trust and confidence in My Heavenly Father, I have answered prayer in all the situations I face. I need to keep this real…. every day in my life.

  4. Really spoke to me today!

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