What God Wants You to Know When You Pray for Direction

Father and son
This is how your heavenly Father wants you to respond when He says, "Wait." (Pixabay/antfrank)

Do you remember the childhood frustration of asking your parents for permission to go somewhere and then hearing the dreaded response, "Let me think about it"?

"Let me think about it."

Now, what in the world does that mean?

Oftentimes, my immature soul longed for a simple yes or an outright no rather than the dreaded, "Let me think about it."

A definite "No" would at least set me free to try from a different angle or to ask for a different privilege.

A much-anticipated and highly appreciated "Yes" would allow me the delightful freedom of rushing full steam ahead into my plans and desires, childish though they were.

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As an adult, I have to admit that often, my conversations with God the Father mirror my childhood conversations with my earthly mom and dad.

"God, can I have that job?"

"Father, will You open that door for me?"

"Jesus, will You provide for this desire in my life?"

And although God has no need to think over a request, He often responds with words I dread to hear: "Wait."

"Not yet."

"Not now."


When I realize God is placing my request in a hold pattern, I immediately become 10 years old again and suffer from that fatal albeit immature impatience of the soul. I feel the familiar yet long-ago urge to argue with an authority figure suddenly arise in my infantile self.

"What? Wait? You've got to be kidding me, God! Don't You know how much this means to me?"

"Wait? God, don't You know that time is of the essence? If this doesn't happen immediately, I will never walk in my destiny!"

God gently smiles at my foolish assumptions and reiterates, "Child, it is best if you wait."

Waiting is never easy for an earthling; waiting can either bring out the best in one of us or the worst in us.

When I foolishly insist, "Now!", I can fully expect God to reply with a gentle but firm, "No, not yet."

When a child of God squirms under the pressure of delayed delivery, God is standing close to the frustrated whippersnapper, simply desiring the opportunity to nurture and to strengthen His dear and well-loved child.

I have learned, as I mature as a believer, no longer to dread the very common and divine answer: "Just wait."

I now understand that times of waiting are also times of strengthening. I have come to realize that waiting is often not a detriment but a pure blessing.

I have discovered that Father truly does know best, and if His answer includes that word, "Wait," then wait I shall.

I will not sputter and complain like an adolescent hothead, but I will graciously and wisely submit my will and my way not only to His plan but also to His time.

"Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord" (Ps. 27:14).

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books: No More OrdinaryHoly Estrogen!The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book is Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. 

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