The word “waiting” in the Bible can mean several things. But one aspect of waiting that is an integral part of true faith is that attitude of quiet, and yet, resolute expectancy, believing that God will answer, move, accomplish His will in answer to prayer. In Psalm 130:6 we find the Psalmist declaring, “My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning.”
Now, the “morning” is a certain thing, that is, as long as the earth and the heavens remain in tact. And so, the Psalmist will set himself to wait upon the Lord in the same manner, not in a haphazard or even hopeful manner. Just as the watchman is certain of the morning, so the Psalmist is CERTAIN concerning the Lord’s promises.
In 1 Kings 18:41-46, we find Elijah on top of Mt. Carmel, having “cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees.” He was praying. Seven times he tells his servant go and look toward the sea, to see if there is anything on the horizon. It will be on the seventh time, that the servant will declare, “There ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” What motivates Elijah to continue in prayer with apparently no answer, until the seventh time looking out to sea? It is this… Elijah had formerly declared to the Lord, “…I have done all these things at THY word.” In this story, he has told wicked King Ahab, after three years without rain, that “…there is a sound of abundance of rain.” Now, Elijah says this because the Lord has told him that the rain is coming. So, he goes to Carmel, and the begins to pray. But he prays in a specific way…he prays “waiting.” He is certain of the answer … it is just a matter of time. And so, he is propelled to pray, certain that God is answering his prayer … it is his to wait with certainty…as the watchmen for the morning.
In the letter of Paul to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul writes, “…Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING…let your requests be made known unto God…”(Phil. 4:6) Now, why do you think that Paul adds the two words “with thanksgiving” to this admonition to pray? It is because a faith that is not expectant faith, is not faith. And if I am not willing to give thanks, the very declaration of receiving, then how can I say that I am praying in faith. In Mark’s gospel, chapter 11:24, the Lord Jesus declares this: “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” True prayer is “receiving” by faith, and “waiting,” with certainty, for its accomplishment.
One last thought…Someone has said that it is as impossible to pray without the Holy Spirit, as it is to create a world. This is true. We cannot pray without the Holy Spirit guiding, and strengthening us to believe. The expectant faith that God calls us to exert is a faith that has its foundation in the faithfulness of God to do what He declares. It is also a faith that is strengthened by the Spirit, resolute and SURE that the promises of God are as real, and as immutable as God Himself. Lastly, it is a faith that is accompanied with the giving of thanks…for the request is received by faith.
So, let us trust Christ to teach us to pray by His Spirit. Let us believe Him to enable us to see clearly that which is His will, for His glory. And let us trust Him for the strength, not only to utter the words of prayer, but to be totally engaged with regard to their realization…with expectancy…with thanksgiving.
Lord Jesus, enable us to truly kneel beside Thee, somewhat like Elijah on Carmel, and pray with certainty…a certainty that transcends time and circumstance, and looks for the “small cloud,” that “beginning of the morning,” of Thy response. Enable us to live in this hope this day…filled with joyful expectancy. Amen.
Have a great “waiting with certainty” day.