Do you have trouble being patient in your prayers? Countless times I have prayed without immediate results from God. But is that something we should hold against God? Does He always promise instant results? Could He be teaching us something more than our expected and perceived result of prayer? We are instant people, especially Americans. We desire a fast, if not instantaneous answer in everything. Do you mean you had to wait fifteen seconds for the water to get hot in your kitchen sink? Unbelievable. You’re telling me the waiter took two minutes to get to you after you sat down? Unreal. You had to wait how long to save $500 on your car insurance? Shut your mouth! Timers at a fast-food drive-thru line, advertisements of losing five pounds in five days, on-demand movies because no one wants to wait a week to see the next episode anymore. When I searched for Psalm 28 to read it on my computer this morning the first thing at the top of the screen wasn’t Psalm 28 but the time it took to pull up the results – .52 seconds! Sadly, we sometimes think prayer is on our timetable instead of in the hands of the One Who transcends time: the Alpha and the Omega – the One Who was, and is and is to come (Revelation 1:8).
In Psalm 28:1-2, David has asked the Lord for help and seemingly did not receive an instant response. Knowing the character and previous experiences of the Lord, David presumes to pray the Lord’s response in verses 3-6. He basically asks the Lord to “sic ‘em”. This is a personal imprecatory request for the Lord to punish his enemies. Did David believe repaying his enemies for the evil that was done to him was the best answer? I know my flesh has prayed that way before. Were David’s prayers of praise to the Lord laced with undertones of justifiable anger and vengeance? David was adamant about the answer he wanted from the Lord – swift punishment for those who were oppressing him. But would this be the Lord’s response? While the Lord does punish those who do evil because His character is holy, our prayers should not commence instructing the Lord. They should be prayers of praise that demonstrate hearts of devotion and trust in the Lord, allowing Him to act in the time and way that His holy character desires. We should ask for deliverance and trust the Lord knows best how to do it. We should ask the Lord for help but trust He will give us what is best. If He lingers, praise the Lord. If He grants mercy where we do not see fit, praise the Lord. If He chooses to condemn the wicked, praise the Lord. If He never delivers from present situations, praise be the Lord. The condition of our prayers reflects the condition of our hearts.
Verses 6-7 illustrate how God answered David’s prayer for deliverance and mercy. While David waited on the Lord, the Lord grew his strength, trust, joy, and praise. Maybe David waited a week? Maybe longer? While we do not know the length of time David had to be patient, we do know the Lord answered David’s request. David remained patient and kept on praying. While we wait for God’s answer to prayer, we must realize God is building our Christ-like character – strength, trust, joy, praise, etc. Will we give up in prayer? Will we trust the Lord has the best response? Will we allow the Lord to change our prayer requests? Will we be joyful while we wait? Will we praise Him before, during, and after the results of prayer? While we do not know exactly how the Lord dealt with David’s oppressors, David viewed God’s eventual response as appropriate and fulfilling, even encouraging others in verses 8-9 to trust Him for their future needs for strength, deliverance, and blessings.
- Are you patient in your prayers?
- Do you trust the Lord to give the best answers to your prayers?
- If the Lord does not answer the way you desire, how do you respond?
Lord, help me to wait patiently and continue to pray. Help me to trust You for the best results and answer. I do not desire to instruct You as you alone are wise, all-powerful, and all-knowing. I choose to submit to Your answers before I see them. Grow my faith and trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.