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The conversational enthusiasm within our eight-year-old son is beyond my understanding. I marvel how words spill from his lips–half of which are unrelated. Just when I think the topic of a snack is the priority, thoughts will switch to another topic based upon his latest Lego creation. To my relief, it’s not a problem for Joshua if I just nod my head; he’ll just keep sharing his ideas. He is one verbal guy.

My husband knows this, and sometimes has offered to take our lad with him on a few activities to give me an auditory rest. He however, is not used to the constant chatter. One recent evening, he brought Joshua on an outing to finish a remodel project. My husband envisioned completing his goal in about two hours. Joshua couldn’t contain his excitement–he had dad all to himself. After two hours past and then five, my husband asked Joshua a simple question.

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“What did you learn tonight?

Joshua knew the answer. The night had grown long, he felt ready for bed hours earlier. He collected cardboard boxes, laid them flat and tried to lie to rest on them but it didn’t satisfy. My husband knew this was the case because he heard at length about the lack of comfort cardboard offers.

“If I talk too much, things take longer,” Joshua stated.

We’ve all talked too much at times and waited too long before haven’t we? It’s difficult to say the least especially in a culture where interaction and waiting have almost become obsolete. Waiting on God to answer a prayer can feel much the same way. What we fail to remember–God remains perfect in his patience and hasn’t changed. We, on the other hand, lack perfection in the waiting department–right? When was the last time you had to wait? When was the last time you had to wait for an answer to prayer? For me, some answers have arrived before I even said amen, for others; I’ve waited a decade or more.

In reality, it’s a struggle not to keep reminding God daily about that need or want, isn’t it? I have prayer journals full to prove it. In the same way the Bible talks about being persistent, it also speaks about waiting on the Lord to faithfully complete His work. What a balance, right? Just like Joshua waiting on his father to complete his work, we also have a choice in waiting on God to answer our prayer requests too. Will we repeat the same prayer throughout day thinking God may not have heard us the first time? Or will we trust Him? He states in Phillipians 1:5-6,…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” That is the truth. We don’t need to worry, nag, or offer lengthy prayers on the same need–God hears us and remembers.

So, what about the prayers that don’t seem to ever come to pass with an answer? I’m not sure, but I can remain confident in a few things–

  • God hears our prayers.
  • God will work in His time.
  • If He’s willing, God will answer.

There are many proofs in my own life that setting some time aside to pray–talking to my Father each day is worthy of my time and effort. How long I pray varies and what I pray about varies also. The lesson, I pray, we can take away from Joshua’s example is this–let our prayers remain consistent, faithful, contrite, but few. God is God, and doesn’t need our incessant chatter on the same topic–the answers may very well take even longer. He wants us to believe He’s already at work on what we’ve prayed because our Father loves us. Yes, He hears and He loves us. He loves us and will answer because He cares for His children even if we, like Joshua, still need restraint in the gabbing department.

 “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart

    to utter anything before God. God is in heaven

    and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”

Ecclesiastes 5:2