Intersection Prayers

Delayed Prayers

“Just wait, best cialis treatment I’ll let you know later, viagra sale mind ” is often a parental response to a seeking child, click adolescent, or teenager.  The response rarely satisfies though, because it frequently serves as an escape for the parent who wants to find reasons to say “no.”  However, delays in God’s parenting are not only well planned, but significant to the final “no or yes.”   In our previous study (Article 41), the answer “no” meant that God had a better plan or that a “yes” would be disastrous. (Jeremiah 29:11-12).    Imagine where we would all be today, if God said “yes” to the multitude of Israelites who prayed 2,000 years ago for a political Messiah rather than a crucified Savior.    Israel would have undoubtedly defeated the Roman Empire, but you and I would have been defeated because our relationship with God would never have been healed because of our remaining sin. (John 3:17-19).

Our children love it when we give them an immediate “yes” to their requests.   “Can we stay over at a friends house, go to Macdonald’s, or attend a show?” are just a few requests to which they hope we will say “yes”.  And when we do, it makes their day.   God says “yes” too.  A leper asked Jesus to heal him, and Jesus said “yes.”   (Matthew 8:2-4)   Years of distress, anxiety, and shame immediately fell away from this man when Jesus said “yes.”

The delays of God are perhaps His greatest parenting tool. While waiting for the eventual “no” or “yes” the tools of patience, endurance, and longsuffering are added to our prayer process. (James 1:2-4)  Had God not delayed Paul’s requests to move him rapidly from one city to the next to preach the Gospel until a ripe old age, Paul would have never stopped long enough to write the prison Epistles which are integral to the New Testament. (Ephesians 3:1)   Delays from God indicate long range planning in our best interest.

Teachable Moment

Teaching children about God’s designed delays is one of the most important lessons they can learn.  If they see delayed answers as unmet expectations they will develop a mistrust of God.  But if they understand God’s delays according to the Word, their lives will be full of faith and abundant in understanding.   In your teachable moment, visit a busy traffic intersection with your children one day.   Be sure to keep them in a protected area during this observation (stay in your car if need be).   Ask your children to make observations about the various cars crossing the intersection.   Mark down how many cars run red lights or yellow lights.   Check the crosswalks to see if there are any pedestrians attempting to cross.  How many cross with the green light or “walk” sign.  Ask your children why some drivers or pedestrians take chances in their crossings.   Why do they not wait for a safe opening?   Explain that this is how some Christians treat their prayer requests.   If there is not a green light right away, they cross dangerously on their own.   If they would wait for the light to turn green, they would be able to cross in safety.   Waiting for God during a delay time is like waiting for the light to turn green.  Until then, observe, make notes and wait.

Word of God

Jer. 29:11 “for I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope”

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John 3:17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19 “And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil.

Matt. 8:2 And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Matt. 8:3 And He stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matt. 8:4 And Jesus *said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and present the offering that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.”

James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

James 1:4 And let endurance have {its} perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Eph. 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles.