Is my Prayer just a PB&J on a Paper Plate?

I had one of those Facebook Memories pop up this week and it immediately took me back into an emotional season of life just last year, when my teenage daughter had made a couple of bad choices and I was feeling desperate. When I re-read it I was immediately put back in a space of pain and frustration.

Fast-forward to this year. That same teenager — now a young adult — has graduated high school, gotten her dream job and started schooling for her career. How could things be so different in just 12 months? Wow! What a difference a year makes.

I serve on the after-service prayer team at my church and I often have mothers come to pray for their children…most of them are not little kids, either. They are teens who are often acting out or young adults who are parenting their own kids, and the faith-filled mamas need God’s help right now. They are desperate for intercessory prayer and immediate divine intervention.

I actually saved a scrap of paper from my prayer table last weekend where one mother had written her sons’ names because it was wet with her tears and just so precious. Those tears were my tears. Those tears were every woman’s tears. Her heart was on that paper. I told her I would continue to pray for her and her sons, and I have. And I know that God hears those prayers. So, why does it take so long for Him to answer?

Is there something I can do to hurry up this process? Continue to pray. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12, NIV)

I asked that faithful mama last weekend, “Let’s suppose you were preparing an amazing meal at your home and expecting many guests to arrive…how long would it take you to prepare? You’d probably want to deep clean your home, buy and cook delicious food, and set a lovely table with china and cloth napkins. For many days your home would be filled with the aroma of baked goods, and finally the main course would be complete. When the house is all decorated and the dishes are set out and the food is displayed with your family and friends gathered ‘round, it is a thing of beauty and it has all been well worth the wait. But it does take time.”

That mama looked at me teary-eyed but hopeful. She understood what I was saying.

I think that when we feel God takes too long to get back to us, He is not “letting us hang unattended.” Rather, He is conducting many pieces in an elaborate orchestra that will play out in due time.  He is locking up many doors tightly and flinging others open wide with opportunity. If we pay attention to His cues, we will see that our prayers most definitely are being answered. But when we want to hurry and prepare a proverbial PB&J on a paper plate because we are just starving for that prayer to be answered, He’s saying, “Please be patient. Don’t give up. Just because you can’t see what I’m doing right now doesn’t mean I’m not working on your prayer. Be faithful. A great work is coming.”

Where are you, God? I need you! Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NIV)


Kelly_MalleckI’m Kelly Malleck, a homeschool mom, a freelance editor and web designer. I like to exercise, garden, laugh, and enjoy life. I’m a member and deacon at New Life Church in Renton. This is my first #HerVoice #linkup.

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