In these next few posts, I’d like to share with you some lessons that I’ve learned about prayer. As a Christian writer, I believe that every word I pen should be birthed from time spent in prayer before the Lord. This is what distinguishes Christian literature from works written by secular authors. Today, I’ll be focusing on the topic of developing patience in prayer.
Now, patience in prayer is something that I struggle constantly with. Unlike Richard Dawkins or C.S Lewis, my mind doesn’t stretch that far to wonder about answers to the big philosophical “whys” of life: Why does a good God allow people to suffer? Why doesn’t God heal everyone?
Neither am I worried about the “hows” of life. It’s amazing how many automatic search options come up when you type in the word “how” on Google!
More often than not, the questions on my mind frequently start with the word “when”. The big “When”. When will God answer my prayer? And, I’m ashamed to say that when I’ve prayed and prayed but haven’t seen the answer that I expect from God, two nasty little words begin to surface in my mind: “what if?”
“What if God doesn’t want me to have __ ?” (you can go ahead and fill in the blank!)
Or worse still, it’s easy to put the blame on God with this question: “What if it’s not God’s will, so that’s why __ happened?” (go ahead and insert a situation with a disappointing result here!)
No one ever likes to be made to wait. It’s just not in our nature. We’ve become a society that feeds on instant gratification of our desires. That’s why we have Google, so we don’t have to plough through volumes of encyclopedias to get our answers. That’s why we have phones with text messaging, so we don’t have to wait weeks for the long letter to arrive by mail. And that’s why, we’ve become even more impatient than ever before. It’s even filtered all the way down into sport! When the Olympics first started, I don’t even think they had the 100th of a second on the stopwatch!
If you’re told to wait for more than fifteen minutes on the telephone, would you hang up the phone or wait until you get to speak to the person at the other end? We’re so accustomed to saving time, because it’s ingrained in our culture that time equals money.
But the Lord doesn’t work this way. To Him, time equals character. And character that conforms to the likeness of Christ is all that matters (James 1:2-4). Opportunities to test our faith are chances that we’re given to grow in our endurance. The Lord cares more about you becoming the perfect representation of Jesus for the world to see than He is about anything else.
In all the verses that I’ve chosen about waiting patiently and expectantly, I’d like us to focus on Romans 8:23-26. The hope that we have to look forward to is that not only will we have full rights as God’s adopted children, we also will have new bodies. This is something we’re encouraged to look forward to eagerly (1 John 3:2-3). We’re God’s children now, but to have full rights is a whole other level. We’ll be judging angels. Who knows what other kingdoms we’ll get to rule over?
Very often, we’re so fixated upon the 70 or 80 odd years or so that we have in this life and spend all our time making ourselves comfortable on this earth that we completely forget about eternity. Let’s not be people who forget about the hope that we’ve been called to!
Ellice is a radiographer living in Melbourne, Australia who desires to share her faith through her writing. Since she was in her teens, she has always been passionate to write devotionals to mentor younger believers. You can visit her blog “Living Stones” to check out the other devotionals she posts here: https://theholygeneration.blogspot.com/ When she’s not typing away on her computer, she loves honing her green fingers (that’s the Aussie way of saying “green thumb”) and experimenting with food.