When You Are Desperate for Jesus to Act on Your Behalf

Even when an answer to prayer is a long time coming, we can trust God is working behind the scenes.

Even when an answer to prayer is a long time coming, we can trust God is working behind the scenes. Click To Tweet

Jesus is acting

Desperate for an Answer

Jesus says “ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14). 

I’m asking. I’m beseeching. I’m pleading. And I’m persistent.

And I certainly think it would be a prayer the Lord would like to answer affirmatively. Yet I pray and I wait … morning after morning … evening after evening.

Yet the answer has not come. Or maybe it has, but I want Jesus to move more powerfully and more obviously. 

Often I get impatient for God to take action. 

But I can’t imagine how desperate the adulteress in John 8 was for Jesus to act as she waited for her accusers to throw the first stone at her (vss. 1-11). 

Here’s the story.

Up to no good, the scribes and the Pharisees “caught” an adulteress in the act and dragged her before Jesus for judgment. In ancient Israel, the punishment for adultery was being stoned to death. 

Her anxiety must have been incredible as she stood expectantly before Jesus. 

But His first words flooded her with relief: “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her” (vs. 7).

I can imagine her “Thank you, Teacher!” as she finally let herself dare to breathe!

But then, nothing. No move to place Himself between her and her accusers. No action to prevent her accusers from actually throwing stones. 

Jesus simply stooped and began writing on the ground. Writing on the ground!

Really, Jesus! I’m ready to die here!!

At any moment, one of the Pharisees or scribes could have started throwing stones. Jesus seemed unprepared to stop them. He didn’t seem to be taking action to help this poor lady. 

Yet, the men didn’t throw a single stone before slowly turning and walking off. And Jesus bade her to, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (vs. 11b).

Jesus Is Acting on Our Behalf

Jesus answered this desperate lady’s greatest need even when it appeared He was doing nothing but writing on the ground.

He was far more active than the adulteress observed. Jesus is far more active in our lives than we observe as well. 

Jesus is far more active in our lives than we observe. Click To Tweet

How many times have we felt similar desperation as we plead with God to act on our behalf? 

It’s unlikely we were facing a stoning, but we frantically wanted Jesus to do more than write on the ground. And just as with this adulteress, He is acting.

He knows the big picture.

He knows the hearts of those mixed up in our circumstances.

He knows what is best for us now and in the future. 

desperate because we can not see Jesus moving

More than Writing on the Ground

Sometimes it seems Jesus isn’t doing much to help our particular circumstance. Oh but may I encourage you, Friend, He’s far more active than we know. 

Under our radar, mountains are being moved. Out of our sight, waters are being parted. Beyond our understanding, hearts are being transformed. 

See it or not, Jesus is acting on our behalf. Under our radar, mountains are being moved, waters are being parted, hearts are being changed. Click To Tweet

The hand of the Lord is moving on our behalf. And that hand is doing far more than merely writing on the ground. 

Just wait and see. 

If we love and believe in Jesus Christ, we can be certain God hears our prayers. We can be certain God is moving on our behalf. We can be certain God will work it all out for our good. 

We may see His answer in our earthly life. Then again, we may not see it until we walk through those pearly gates. 

But take a deep, perhaps shaky, breathe, and trust in Him. You can rest assured He’s taking action. 

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Reflections: What prayer are you desperate for God to answer? Reread John 8: 1-11. Think about how all the adulteress saw was Jesus writing on the ground, and remember, the Lord is always doing more on our behalf than we can see. 

Going on 5 years of counting and I’m nearing 5,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! Here are numbers #5020–5040. Read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Access to after-hours walk-in medical care for Rachel; Home!; A soccer win for Joey’s team
  • Zach starting his new job at Camp Courageous: excited for him!; 2-1/2 hours to visit uninterrupted with my mother-in-law while I drove her home; Danny’s home!
  • Rachel feeling well enough to return to school today; A walk with Dan and Rach; Making our entire meal on our new gas grill
  • Orioles singing outside my kitchen window; Money to buy groceries without concern (too often taken for granted); Pork roast quiche and rhubarb pie for supper
  • Spotting a bluebird; Joey passing lifeguard training pretest and beginning his training; Last-minute decision to stay in a hotel for the night to get 2-1/2 more hours of sleep
  • Celebrating graduation of a boy who has found a special place in my heart; Long hike in a beautiful area; Home earlier than expected
  • Warmly welcomed at a church I visited; Scent of lilacs greeted me as I walked out of church; Joey passed his lifeguard training.

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “When You Are Desperate for Jesus to Act on Your Behalf
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    When I have felt desperate as I await Jesus to act. Someone reminds me Jesus has His own timetable. I then remember God is in control. Please pray for me as I await a decision Hubby has to make at a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.

    • Julie Sunne says:

      It’s a constant reminder we all need, Cecelia. Lord, please give Cecelia peace as she awaits her husband’s medical decision. The waiting is so difficult, Father. Comfort her with the assurance of Your constant presence and that You have even this. In Jesus most precious name, Amen!

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