Waiting, I Waited...

Read: Psalm 40

Text: Psa 40:4 (KJV) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust.

Theme:God is pleased, and we are blessed, when we wait patiently for Him to answer prayer.


This is a Psalm of David, in which he praises God for wonderful answers to prayer that he had received in the past, even in the face of impending problems now. The psalm begins with thanksgiving for answered prayer, and ends with a prayer for continued deliverance in the future.

I. Praise for Past Mercies (1-5)

A. Answered prayer sometimes comes slowly. (Vs. 1)
"I waited patiently..." in Hebrew is literally "waiting, I waited."

READ 2 Cor. 12:7-10 - It was true in Paul's life.

ILLUS. Samuel never stopped praying for his people, even though they failed time and again. (1 Sam 12:23)

QUOTE - "I am sometimes started by the power of a feeble prayer to win a speedy answer." SPURGEON (And yet, often the answer is NOT speedy.)

B. Past answers encourage us to seek new answers. (Vs. 2)
1. Our Salvation

2. Previously answered prayer requests.

QUOTE - "That the Almighty does make use of human agencies and directly intervenes in human affairs is one of the plainest statements in the Bible. I have had so many evidences of His direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own will, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above." Abraham Lincoln

C. We must trust God to know what is best (Vs. 4)
Psa 4:4-5; Psa 37:3-5; Psa 118:8-9; Psa 125:1; Prov 3:5

QUOTE "We may not always be able to trace God, but we can always trust Him."

II. Personal Commitment to His Service (6-10)

A. David understood what God wanted (obedience.) (vs. 6)
1 Sam 15:22; Psa 51:16

QUOTE - "It is not said that after keeping God's commandments, but in keeping them there is great reward. God has linked these two things together, and no man can separate them - obedience and power. (F. W. Robertson) - AND, I THINK, OBEDIENCE AND ANSWERED PRAYER.

B. David understood his responsibility as king to obey the Word (vs. 7)

1. Some say this refers to prophecy, such as Deut. 17:14-15.

2. Some say this refers to the personal copy of scripture the king was to carry and use as his guidebook. READ: Deut. 17:18-20

C. David was committed to serving His God. (vs. 8)
1. Learning and memorizing the Word (vs. 8)

2. Preaching righteousness (vs. 9)

3. Sharing God's blessings in his life (Vs. 10)

III. Prayer for Continual Preservation (11-17)

A. David recognizes God's sovereignty. (vs. 11a)
(If you choose to, Lord, you can withhold your favor.)
B. David recognizes the source of His preservation (vs. 11b)
(Thy lovingkindness and truth)
C. David admits to putting roadblocks in God's path. (vs. 12)

D. David knows that the results of answered prayer in his life reach beyond him to others. (vss. 13-16)

E. David knows that he needs God's help even in this area of waiting for answers.

"Since I am afflicted and needy, Let the Lord be mindful of me; Thou art my help and my deliverer; Do not delay, O my God." Psalm 40:17 (NASB)


This psalm describes three tenses in our prayer life - past, present, future. In the past, we have answered prayer, for which we praise God. In the present, we have continuing prayer, for which we patiently await God's response, and serve Him faithfully while we wait. In the future, we have the desire for continual preservation and blessing, and for this we pray.

God is pleased, and we are blessed, when we wait patiently for Him to answer prayer. May God help us, therefore to trust Him in our prayer lives. May God help us to live in Psa 40:4 (KJV) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust.

Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson .
Last modified on August 19, 1996.
Copyright © 1996 William E. Johnson.