Whatever you may be praying for, please read this if you need to believe your prayers are answered, even if you haven’t yet seen any outward signs of it.
Finances are a major source of stress for many people in this economy. As someone who is trying to start my own business, I know it can require a long stretch of spending money while seeing little or no income. I was thinking about this while spending money at the grocery store a few days ago.
Prayer is the language by lel4nd on Flickr
I’m working to build a writing ministry, and trusting that one day, God will grant me a sustainable income through it. My heart’s desire is that God will bless many people through His revelation and my feeble attempts to express it in writing.
We often become frustrated when God doesn’t choose to answer our prayers right away. God wants to fill our lives with blessings, but He often asks that we be patient. We must wait to receive His gifts in His timing.
These thoughts inspired me to create a new Twitter hashtag, #JNN or #JustNotNow. In case you didn’t know, a hashtag is a word or phrase prefixed with the hash ( # ) symbol.
After I got home, I tweeted about #JNN. Two people (whom I’m calling “tweeter1” and “tweeter2”) replied. Here’s the dialog:
@Genesis_Guy I believe God will give me nearly everything I ask of Him, #JNN. (Just not now). What do you think of my new hashtag?
@Genesis_Guy If I was a parent, I think I’d tell my kid, “Sure thing, #JNN.” (Just not now). This sounds better than “No,” and teaches patience.
@Genesis_Guy What’s going on in your life #JNN?
@Genesis_Guy I have a really successful business #JNN. 😀
@tweeter1: @Genesis_Guy God responds three ways in scripture to request(prayers) yes, no, and #JNN..it’s ok to just say no…yes…or JNN
@Genesis_Guy Too often, I think we may take the #JNN as if it’s a “no” – due to our own impatience.
@tweeter1: @Genesis_Guy very true…look at Sarah and Abraham!..to give one example. Many others I am sure!
@tweeter2: @Genesis_Guy I also think we don’t get what we desire because we never ask
@Genesis_Guy: @tweeter2 Also, we don’t always ask persistently. I know I don’t.
I feel it’s important that we take seriously God’s common response: “Yes, I plan to do that for you, but not now.” We take it seriously by expectantly clinging to that hope; not forgetting His promise; and continuing to remind the Lord of our need.
We should never take God’s “Not now” answer as a “No.” As “tweeter1” pointed out, Abraham and Sarah become frustrated by God’s delay. They decided to “help” God answer their prayers.
Parents, especially fathers, represent God to their children in many ways. A “not now” answer can help children understand that God will often delay His answers to their prayers. In the process, parents must not provoke a child to anger or exasperation (Eph. 6:4, Col. 3:21). They should also keep in mind that a “not now” answer is a kind of promise that should be fulfilled if possible.
Whether a parent is intentional about it or not, the “not now” answer is part of every human life. It teaches children to be patient, to accept a temporary state of “poverty” (such as not getting ice cream), and to respect the parents’ wisdom and wishes. Similarly, it’s for our own good that God often delays His answers to our prayers.
What have you asked God for in the past? You might think He answered “No” to some of your prayers. Did He really, or did you just lose patience? If you’re not sure, why not go to God in prayer and ask Him again? In the comments below, feel free to respond to my question, “What’s going on in your life, #JustNotNow?”
May you always live in faith, and never lose hope.
Note: My Twitter name is now @Genesis_Guy. At the time this discussion occurred, the same account went by the name @RTGbook. By the way, I no longer suggest the use of JNN as a hashtag since nobody would understand it.