The Intercessor’s Pain: Delay
Friend, do you ever get frustrated while waiting on God? If so, I want to encourage you today.
Delay is a hard thing to deal with, no matter who you are.
However, for an intercessor — someone who has tremendous faith in God and who has a heart for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven — delay can feel like agony.
We know God’s heart, and we know it is not His will that any should perish. Why, therefore, does He not move faster? Why does He not manifest more miracles? Why does He not defend the righteous in more obvious ways? Why does He take His sweet time to answer our personal prayers? And what ever happened to fire falling from Heaven upon all those who mock Him?
None of us have precise, perfect answers to any of those questions. We can only point to the love of God; the mercy of God; the grace of God; the forbearance of God. And in the end, we can only say, “Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
The Lord certainly knows how greatly delays can hurt our heart.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV).
Delay hurts. Hoping for something, praying for something, believing for something day after day and year after year is difficult. But you know what? It’s a strange habit of God that even when He takes His sweet time to do something, when He finally does it, it usually happens fast.
As the prophet Habakkuk wrote:
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected. Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:1–4 NKJV).
Isn’t that verse strange? “Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
In one phrase, God says it may tarry; but then in the next, He says it will not tarry. What is the meaning of all that? Simply this: God alone knows His timing; but when He does avenge His people, He does so speedily.
Friend, God is coming to your rescue. He DOES hear your prayer. He has already answered and finished His works for you from before the foundation of the world (see Hebrews chapter 4). And even though you may not see His answer yet, look up! He is going to come through for you!
While you wait on Him, ask Him to help you rest in Him and TRUST HIM.
God knows the waiting is hard. It’s okay to talk to Him about it. Tell Him how frustrated you are. Tell Him that you’re disappointed if you are disappointed. Ask Him to help you. Confess to Him how you trust Him anyway, for you know that His plans are perfect. Then, ask Him to strengthen you during the wait. Ask Him to renew your faith, your hope, and your patience as you trust Him.
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:25–26 NKJV).
It is written in the Psalms:
Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! (Psalm 27:14).
And remember the words of Isaiah:
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:27–31).
Oh, friend, if your heart has grown sick because of hope deferred, pray this simple prayer today:
Father God, I trust You. You have always been faithful to me, and You always will be. But I’m having a hard time waiting right now. In Jesus’ name I ask today that You would strengthen my faith.
- Renew my physical strength.
- Fill me with hope again, and help me to be of good courage as I wait on You.
- Strengthen my heart, Father.
- Help me to strengthen the hands that hang down and to make firm the feeble knees, so that what is lame may not be dislocated — but may rather be healed.
- Show me the answers to my prayers, Father, as I wait on You.
Thank You, Abba Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Beloved, being an intercessor — a minister to the very heart of Jesus — is not for the faint of heart. Nevertheless, keep praying! Stand firm in faith despite delays, for when the vision comes, it will not tarry.
This article is part of a 5-part series. Find the other installments at the links below.
Part 1. The Intercessor’s Pain: Delay – Intercessors for America (ifapray.org)
Part 2. The Intercessor’s Pain: Travail – Intercessors for America (ifapray.org)
Part 3. The Intercessor’s Pain: Servitude vs. Sonship – Intercessors for America (ifapray.org)
Part 4. The Intercessor’s Pain: Rejection – Intercessors for America (ifapray.org)
Part 5. The Intercessor’s Pain: Misunderstanding – Intercessors for America (ifapray.org)
Does this word speak to your heart today? If so, please share with a friend!
Jamie Rohrbaugh is the author of On-Time God: 14 Miracle Words and Prayers for RIGHT NOW. She is the founder and CEO of From His Presence, a ministry dedicated to equipping God’s people in prayer, the prophetic word, living supernaturally, inner healing, and kingdom wealth. Her writing can be found on YouVersion Bible Plans, in Charisma Magazine, and on The Elijah List, Spirit Fuel, and various other ministry outlets. Download her free prayer tool, Praying the Names of God: 555 Biblical Names of God and How to Use Them in Prayer and Worship, here. Photo Credit: Canva.
Partner with Us
Intercessors for America is the trusted resource for millions of people across the United States committed to praying for our nation. If you have benefited from IFA's resources and community, please consider joining us as a monthly support partner. As a 501(c)3 organization, it's through your support that all this possible.
Thanks for Praying!