by Steve Fuller
There’s something I’ve been praying about.
The church where I serve as pastor needs a part-time worship leader.
Our present leader has served us well, but his schedule is changing and he plans to step down.
So, of course, I’ve been networking, calling, posting on church employment sites — and praying.
So far, God has not provided — and the problem is that I need him to provide soon.
I can hear the clock ticking. The deadline is approaching.
What are we going to do without a worship leader?
Yes, I’m starting to worry.
So How Should I Pray?
I could just keep praying, “Father, please provide us with a new worship leader” — and leave it at that.
But the Bible shows us more.
You’ll notice that the psalmists often ask God to hurry.
This is all throughout the Psalms:
But you, O Lᴏʀᴅ, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! (Psalm 22:19)
Make haste to help me, O Lᴏʀᴅ, my salvation! (Psalm 38:22)
Be pleased, O Lᴏʀᴅ, to deliver me! O Lᴏʀᴅ, make haste to help me! (Psalm 40:13)
You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God! (Psalm 40:17)
Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O Lᴏʀᴅ, make haste to help me! (Psalm 70:1)
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lᴏʀᴅ, do not delay! (Psalm 70:5)
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! (Psalm 71:12)
O Lᴏʀᴅ, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! (Psalm 141:1)
This makes me wonder: why don’t I pray like that?
So I’ve started it.
Following the example of psalmists, I’ve been asking God to hurry.
And I’m discovering at least five benefits.
1. It reminds us that God is sovereign over timing.
It’s easy to think the reason our church doesn’t yet have the new worship leader is because there are not many worship leaders available, or because the position is only part-time, or because this is a bad time of year to be looking, and so forth.
But when I pray, “Father, quickly provide us with a worship leader; don’t delay in helping us” — it reminds me that God can provide for us quickly.
He can overcome all of our problems.
He will answer our prayers and provide for us exactly when we need him.
Like David said, “My times are in your hand” (Psalm 31:15).
2. It helps us see the goodness of God’s timing.
When I ask God to hurry, and realize that God is perfectly good, I see that timing is part of his perfect goodness.
This is crucial because we can easily grumble about God’s timing.
But like David said, “The Lᴏʀᴅ is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works” (Psalm 145:17).
All his works — including their timing.
So every day of delay is part of that goodness.
It is a gift of another day to pray, to depend on him, to seek him.
When we see that delays are part of his loving plan, it helps us humble ourselves before him, and trust him.
3. It helps prayer be honest.
If we long for God to provide something quickly, but we don’t express that longing when we pray, then we’re not being honest.
We are holding part of our hearts away from him.
We’re not entrusting that desire to him.
And that can grow into frustration and bitterness.
That’s one reason God wants us to pour out our souls before him (1 Samuel 1:15).
I have found that the more I open my heart to him, expressing my longing that he act quickly, the more I experience his comfort and heart-satisfying presence.
4. It helps me pray earnestly.
Jesus said it is good to be earnest in prayer: “I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence [persistence, earnestness] he will rise and give him whatever he needs” (Luke 11:8).
When we ask God to work we usually feel some earnestness.
But when we add, “please do this quickly; please hurry” — the earnestness grows.
Maybe it’s because when we express our longing for haste, we end up feeling it even more.
But whatever the reason, when we ask God to hurry, our prayers will become more fervent.
5. It stirs God to answer more quickly.
There’s mystery here. James says, “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2).
So there are times when the reason we do not receive something is because we did not ask God for it.
Which means that, generally speaking, if we humbly ask God to hurry, God will hurry more than if we had not asked.
So, when we long for God to hurry, let us be like the psalmists.
Let us humbly and earnestly ask God to hurry — for his glory and our good.