I loved praying with all my kids when they were little but one of my daughter’s prayed like she talked; very precise, questioning and had no problem telling God exactly how she felt.
At Christmas one year, we decided to put up white Christmas lights. This was a major ordeal for her. She wanted colored lights like we always had. So, one night she prayed, “God, just make daddy go to Lowes, he can buy colored lights there.”
When she prayed, she’d pray for our family, the dogs, the man on the motorcycle we saw on the way to Wal Mart, my horses I had as a child. This one particular night, she began to pray for Easter. It wasn’t anything religious, she prayed, “God, make Easter come faster. Skip Christmas and all the rest, just bring Easter.”
I remembered that that morning she had asked me how many days until Easter. I said it’s a long ways off.
I was curious so after the prayers, I asked, “Why do you want Easter to come so fast?”
“I want a basket of candy,” she said.
“If Easter comes first,” I said, “you’ll miss out on Christmas, you get presents and candy then.”
“I don’t care.”
“But you’ll miss Valentines, you get candy then.”
“I don’t care.”
“You’ll miss out on so much if God moved up Easter. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, birthday parties, all the stuff you learn at school.”
“I don’t care.”
I nodded. It’s usually useless to argue with a five year old.
As I walked from her room, I realized I just had the same conversation with my daughter that I often have with God.
Many times in prayer, we ask God to hurry up with an answer. We may be impatient or plainly hurting but the request is the same: answer us, now. We don’t even realize the blessings we might be missing out on if He did.
I read a quote that said, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while we are waiting.”
As I look back over the years, I have a few personal, long standing prayers. One was when we lived in Jefferson City. I prayed that the City would build sidewalks around our grade school. We lived very close to it and I wanted my kids to walk to school but to be safe.
Three years I prayed for the sidewalks and it finally came to pass. But during those years, I didn’t just sit and pray for God to miraculously build the sidewalks. I didn’t ask for concrete to rain from heaven. I prayed for Him to show me how He wanted me to help in accomplishing this.
I sat on a task force commissioned by the mayor, I met many interesting people, I went before City Council, spoke at the city wide PTO and finally, after three years, the sidewalks were built. I saw the surveyors, I met with the engineers, I watched the concrete being poured. God answered my prayer.
It was frustrating at times, it was boring at times. I had my feelings hurt and more times then not, I wanted to give up but every day had a purpose. I didn’t always see it or understand it but like I told my daughter about Easter, if it comes too fast, we miss out on all the blessings in between.
Our prayers may be simple enough that God shows Himself immediately or they may take years for Him to bring it to pass, but wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14