“It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
A believer may present a right petition in a right way, and yet he may not wait the Lord’s answer in His own time. He may appoint a time, and if the Lord does not answer within that period, he turns away, resigning all expectation of an answer.
There is such a thing as waiting for the Lord. The apostle alludes to and enjoins this holy patience, when he speaks to the Ephesians of “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance.” A believer may present his request- may have some degree of nearness in urging it- may press it with fervency- and yet, forgetting the hoping, quiet, waiting patience which ought invariably to mark a praying soul; he may lose the blessing he has sought. There is such a thing as “waiting upon the Lord.”
Oh; how long have we made Him to wait for us! For years, it may be, we kept Him knocking, and standing, and waiting at the door of our hearts, until His own Spirit took the work in His own hands, and unlocked the heart, and the Savior entered. The Lord would now often have us wait His time in answering prayer. And, if the vision tarry, still let us wait, and hope, and expect. Let the delay but stimulate hope, and increase desire, exercise faith, and multiply petitions at the mercy-seat. It will come when the Lord sees best.
A believer may lose the answer to his prayer, by dictating to the Lord the mode, as well as the time, of answering. The Lord has His own mode of blessing His people. We may prescribe the way the Lord should answer, but He may send the blessing to us through an opposite channel, in a way we never thought of, and should never have selected.
Sovereignty sits regent upon the throne, and in no aspect is its exercise more manifestly seen than in selecting the way and the means by which the prayers of the saints of God are answered. Dictate not to the Lord. If you ask a blessing through a certain channel, or in a prescribed way, let it be with the deepest humility of mind, and with perfect submission to the will of God.
Be satisfied to receive the blessing in any way which a good and covenant God may appoint. Be assured, it will be in that way that will most glorify Himself, and secure to you the greatest amount of blessing.