Our world is a fast paced world. Kids are exposed to rapidly changing technology, images and an over scheduled lifestyle. It’s no wonder when God tells them to wait for something, they become impatient. Why not help God a bit? After all, surely God wants your children to have everything they want. Since He’s obviously busy, your kids can just start pushing things in the direction they are sure God would want – towards their desire.
Unfortunately, this line of thinking and action rarely ends well. You only have to remember the Abraham, Sarah and Hagar triangle to see what a mess rushing God can create. Not only did the three of them suffer all sorts of consequences for trying to rush God, but the repercussions continued for many generations and some would argue even until today.
The next time you see your kids start to get antsy because God “isn’t answering” their prayers, remind them God sometimes wants us to wait and that is His answer for now. (“No” is another valid answer from God.) Start talking with them about God having all wisdom and what that means. Give them examples from your own life of a time when you thought you wanted something so badly, but God made you wait. Often looking back it becomes extremely clear why God wanted us to wait.
Often God makes us wait, because we are not spiritually mature enough to handle what we think we can handle. Sometimes other people and events must also fall into place for the timing to be God’s perfect timing. Older teens can get almost frantic about finding the “right person” because they are ready for a relationship. What they may forget is that God may know the “right person” is not quite ready for that relationship yet. Your child must learn to wait patiently and grow spiritually while God works on the other person.
I have even seen times when waiting for God to put certain things into action, meant that when I ultimately got my “yes” it was so many times better than what I asked for initially. Your children will experience the same thing from time to time and when it happens, help them remember and thank God for these additional blessings.
The biggest fear of our children (and us) is that waiting is actually God’s way of saying “no” and they can’t bare the thought of being denied something they think is so vital. Remind them God has a plan and even if it means denying them something they feel is vital, He will help them find a godly way to get through the pain and find contentment in even His “no’s”.
As you pray with your children, have a constant discussion about the three answers God gives to our prayers. Help them begin to understand God’s wisdom means the answers are what is ultimately best for us – even if we don’t like them at the time. Helping them understand these concepts will ultimately strengthen their prayer life and their faith.