If you’re struggling today waiting for God to answer your prayer, this blog is for you. Hold on. God has a plan.
My wife and I love to watch Fixer Upper, hosted by Chip and Joanna Gaines. The premise of the show is that a couple buys a house in need of repair, which Chip and Joanna and their Magnolia Farms team revamp. As Chip puts it, “We take the worst house in the best neighborhood, and make it into our client’s dream.” Based on the couple’s budget and individual needs, they create a home that is truly new, with instant equity that can be as high as $50,000 to $60,000.
How God answers prayer can sometimes be like revamping a house. It’s like a process rather than an immediate gratification. As I wait on God to answer me externally, He’s at the same time stripping me, gutting my floors, taking out my rotting drywall, replacing light fixtures inside me—similar to the stuff Chip does on “Demo Day.” God is doing the same thing so that I’ll not only see a change in my environment, but experience a change inside me, one that ultimately shares life and warmth and happiness with others, just like a new home.
As I wait for my prayer to be answered, God continues to reform me, honing my character, deepening my love. The house inside me gets French doors. New landscaping. New can lights in the kitchen. An island. Granite countertops. Hardwood floors. All new appliances.
And then suddenly, all at once, I’m made new.
The prayer I was praying for that seemed over the horizon and impossible to grasp, was at the same time being answered inside me. While I had hoped and imagined how my desire would be fulfilled, He was liberating me from the inside, making me a place of warmth and love for others to share, for Jesus to come in and dine.
It can be tough to wait on a prayer to be answered because it can seem, for the longest time, that nothing is happening. But God knows you, every fiber in your heart. He knows what you need, and He knows the perfect way to answer your prayer, in the perfect moment. He is moving heaven and earth to answer it. And He’s doing it in a special way, radiant and unique to you.
God is powerful. His realm soars into the kingdom of the impossible. Not only can He do what has never been done before, He can do more, far more, and can do it gladly, in joy, in His own signature style, so that everyone affected by your answered prayer is blessed, and He is glorified.
God never goes small when He responds. Blessing us is always a big occasion for Him. We think in immediate wants, in instant gratification, but God is much more merciful than that: He blesses us with challenges and growth, learning His will from the inside out, learning the heart of Him, which glows like a roaring fire inside a cozy home.
I believe that God sometimes seemingly delays answering our prayers not because He doesn’t care, but because He has imagined something far greater than our limited expectations. We pray imagine bronze, but He gives us gold (Isaiah 60:17). We may be content wanting of ourselves to be only a shack, but God wants to make us into palaces, filled to the brim with His love.
Every answered prayer is a miracle. His miracles are best recognized by a thankful and humbled heart—a heart not of stone, but of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19).
I believe God always answers prayers better than how we pray them. This may look far different than what we imagined. His desire is to pour all of Him—His kingdom, His Spirit, the love of His Son, all His infinite blessings and joys and gladness, His unquenchable mercy and grace—into you, through each miraculous prayer. He promises only the best. So keep praying. Don’t give up hope.
“For with God nothing will be impossible.” ~ Luke 1:37