By Brad Shotts
I saw something the other day that I loved. It read, “When prayer becomes your immediate reflex instead of your last resort, the whole battlefield begins to tilt in your direction.”
How often do we push the panic button, taking matters into our own hands when the wheels fall off our wagon? I know I do. It is funny… I cannot recall one instance, doing things my way, when the end result was good. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel the rush of anxiety when the wheels come off, but I have learned to stop and say, “Lord, this has not taken You by surprise. You knew this day was coming. You are now just waiting to see what my reaction is going to be. I choose to give this to You right now at the beginning. You show me what it is I am to do and how You want me to handle this. I place my circumstance in Your capable hands.”
When we look at the story of Moses, freeing God’s people from slavery in Egypt and King Pharaoh, there are several things we can learn. God called Moses to do what seemed to be completely impossible. The children of Israel had been in bondage and slavery for 400 years. They were held captive under the rule of King Pharaoh. God selected Moses to go before Pharaoh to request that the Israelites be set free.
Now, one might think that because God wanted this to happen, that it would be a pretty easy process, but Moses found out that this was going to be much easier said than done. Most are familiar with the story and how God had to send numerous plagues upon the land of Egypt, causing severe devastation, before Pharaoh was finally exhausted and agreed to let the slaves go free. A period of four to five months transpired before Moses was able to accomplish what God had asked him to do.
I began to think about this story and how it relates to us today. Oftentimes when we have something big happen in our lives and we pray, we get discouraged when our prayers are not answered immediately or within a short period of time. We must remember that just because we don’t actually see change happening, that does not mean that God is not working. God has a way of moving things around and putting things into place; influencing people in the way they feel about situations and others; setting important things in motion that will turn circumstances your way.
These things take time because oftentimes it involves the free-will of another person. Have you ever had someone come up to you and say, “You know, I had this happen to me the other day and it made me realize that a few months ago when I said this or that to you or when I did this to you, I was wrong.” It is important to know that God hears every single prayer we pray. Sometimes the answer will come quickly, but often it takes a little time for God to get all the players lined up just right so He can answer your prayer the way He wants it to be answered.
God’s answers are always, “yes”, “no”, or “give me just a little time and I can make this whole thing turn out for your good”. In the meantime, do not get discouraged. Rest in the assurance that God is working for you, He loves you and He will make things right in His time. God is never early and He is never late. He is always right on time.
Father, I pray for the one who has been praying and praying for something very important and the answer just never seems to come. If there is something You are waiting on them to do, please show them what it is that You are wanting. If you need them to just trust You and be patient, please give them the strength, patience and peace during this waiting period.
Father, we know that You know what is best for our lives. I pray right now for families who have been torn apart. I pray for families that need a financial miracle. May You bring restoration where there is division. May that perfect job come soon in the name of Jesus. I pray for hearts to be softened and a spirit of forgiveness to sweep our land. I pray for a spirit of revival to flow through the hearts of believers and through our churches. I pray for Your love and peace to penetrate the hearts that have never experienced what true love really is.
I pray for the salvation of millions of people right now who are lost without You. Father, we love You and we stand firm… Trusting You and loving You no matter what our current circumstance may be. Most of all Lord, when we look ahead and all we see in front of us is a Red Sea and we have nowhere to turn, may we just look up to You and fully place our trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Bradley Shotts began his ministry working in the funeral industry in 1988 at Lloyd James Funeral Home in Tyler, Texas. He currently serves as the general manager of Forest Ridge Funeral Home Memorial Park Chapel in North Richland Hills, Texas. He and his wife, Amy, live in Bedford, Texas. They have two adult children, Blaine and Braylee. Bradley is a member of Rotary International and serves on the board at Shepherd Heart Ministries in Tyler. He is an ordained minister.