How long, Oh Lord?
“O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear!” Habakkuk 1:2 KJV
“To develop God-focused or God centered praying, we need to develop the discipline of clinging to God when nothing seems to be happening. Let God know you will not let go of Him”–Come Boldly, p.162
Abraham waited over twenty-five years from the time God first told him about making him the father of many nations. The Word doesn’t directly mention how frustrated he and Sarah must have been in the wait, but somewhere along the way, they devised their own plan with Hagar and Ishmael was born. But he would not be the child of the promise. God had a plan that would be accomplished, and He didn’t need their “help.”
Meanwhile, another decade passes before the angelic visit where Sarah laughs out loud at the preposterous notion of being ninety years old and pregnant. But within the year, Abraham and Sarah would understand that with God, nothing is impossible.
As I think about Abraham, I remember my own things I am waiting on God for, things that I, frankly, have lost hope for. And Abraham encourages me to renew trust and wait with expectation.
We do not know what God is doing for us in the wait. But we can be confident that He is working out the details, even when we think we’ve been forgotten. When we pray and God appears silent, it hurts. We have a tendency to get discouraged and fall away. But there are some things we can learn from Abraham to help us fare well in the wait.
Put up an altar. Worship him every step of the way. Abraham stopped and set up an altar and worshipped with his family every time he moved camp.
Have faith. Trust in the good God you’ve come to know, and the plan He has for you even if it looks very different from what you see. Faith is “a steady and certain knowledge of the Divine benevolence towards us, which, being founded on the truth of the gratuitous promise in Christ, is both revealed to our minds, and confirmed to our hearts, by the Holy Spirit.” (John Calvin)
Stay on the right track. Don’t devise your own plan thinking you need to help God along. Wait on His direction, His provision, His strength to see you through the wait, for as long as it takes.
Be obedient. Even when it looks like the very provision God makes for us is about to be destroyed, stick with His plan. He will see it to completion. Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Remember His faithfulness. Instead of reviewing all the ways He has not changed our current situation, recall all the ways He has shown you His Love and faithfulness.
Keep pounding the door of heaven. Cling to Him. Trust in His goodness. Rest in His sovereignty. Even though it’s taking longer than you think it should…Believe on God and it will be counted to you as righteousness.
Are you waiting on something that doesn’t seem to be happening? Do you feel forgotten by God? Would you like to renew your faith that God is working in that situation? Is there something in particular that you would like to pray for together? Leave a comment or your thoughts, and thanks for stopping by today!
Reading through the Bible chronologically with devotions from Come Boldly: Timeless Daily Encouragements on Prayer that pair with the Scripture readings. Job 35-42; Gen. 12-24. Come Boldly Pages 77, 179, and mentions of Abraham pp. 62, 63, 162, 253.