Monday, January 31, 2022

Purpose in the Wait

 By: Joanne Viola

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NASB)

Prayer has remained a mystery down through the ages. It can simply be explained as “talking to God” and yet so many questions remain.

Some prayers are answered quickly, and others, seem to take longer than we would like. We long for an answer, a resolution, a healing, or an outcome. We pray day after day, and nothing seems to be affected by our prayers.

In these times of waiting for an answer, it does us well to remember Daniel. He prayed for twenty one days and no response came from God. He continued on with his prayer and fasting, until an angel came and told him:

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.”
(Daniel 10:12, NLT) 

Daniel’s prayer was heard the very first day he uttered his words. The answer was on its way but was prevented from being received:

“But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way.” (verse 13, NLT)

The mystery of prayer lies in part in the activity which remains unseen to us. We are wise to keep on praying, seeking and trusting God to do what only He can do to bring answers to our prayers.

As we wait and continue to pray faithfully, we will come to discover:

  • The wait causes our desire to grow deeper and stronger. We learn to persist in prayer, to not give up, or lose heart.
  • We come to experience the closeness of God. Our times of prayer awaken our awareness of God. We realize He draws close to us as we draw close to Him.
  • We learn our prayers will not go unanswered. Even in the delay, God is at work. We must not get tired or discouraged when the answer is not immediate.

“God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely.” (Charles Spurgeon)

“Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith; they also give us opportunities to honor God through our steadfast confidence in Him, even when facing the apparent denial of our request.” (Charles Spurgeon)

There is purpose in the wait,
keep on praying!

Photo by Olivia Snow on Unsplash




  1. Thanks for the encouragement to stay steady in the wait. I think of James 1: "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial." I'm currently in a miserable hold pattern so I appreciate your words here!

    1. Oh Lisa, I am so sorry as it is not easy to wait during difficulties. Praying for you this morning - May the Lord give you more largely because you have waited on Him! {hugs}

  2. That delay in Daniel has always been a mystery to me--God was surely able to disable that opposing spirit in a moment, yet He allowed him to hold up Gabriel. There's so much going on behind the scenes that we don't know and can't understand. He just asks us to trust Him--He's got the big picture and the best way to meet the needs of all involved.

    Those are all good benefits of waiting. I think waiting also helps us examine our hearts. When an answer is delayed, we wonder if we're the reason it is held up, if there is sin we need to confess, if our motives are pure. God can use waiting to refine us.

    Waiting also helps us be willing to submit to God's will. When an answer doesn't come, we have to wrestle with the possibility that it won't, that God might say no, and we have to learn to be content with His will in the matter.

    Somehow when things come too easily, we take them for granted.

  3. Joanne, waiting is never easy, especially when seeking answers to prayer. I am in what feels like a permanent waiting pattern (delay) for answered prayer regarding my prodigals and some days it is certainly hard to wait with complete trust!

  4. Thank you for this Joanne! There is a song that says, "I will worship while I'm waiting." I love that. The waiting matters. ♥


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