I have a friend on Facebook who recently posted this as his status:
I’m not waiting for the Lord to answer my prayers because He’s waiting for my obedience.
I have a general rule to be gracious and generous with Twitter and Facebook posts primarily because by nature the posts tend to be removed from context – so the rough-in-the-ball-park way to try to discern their meaning is through what you know of the person generally.
So without wanting to impugn any particular theology of prayer to my friend, it is worth pointing out that his Facebook post pretty much sums up these thoughts on the struggle of prayer in an instant world. Gary Millar (in my summarised notes) puts the problem this way:
We are all allergic to waiting. Apple users will know the pain of receiving an email from Apple about their latest new thing ‘coming’!
We need to be prepared to wait when we pray.
We are allergic to helplessness – we want action now – not God’s long term strategy, but to sort things out now so we take on the job, we take over and try to work things out for ourselves.
We need to learn to see what is already there – the little answers on the way to the big answers (eg seeing the changes in your children’s godliness).
In our instant world we can do so much more and quicker than 20 years ago, but we need to remember the people of prayer know that prayer is a long term job.
Happy waiting for the Lord to answer your prayers :)