In our web-connected society, it’s hard to imagine going a day without getting a text, post, etc. Yet, how long do we let prayer time lapse?
Is there an area of your life where God is saying to your heart, “Are you even listening to me?” Focus your prayer time on hearing him.
In Psalm 6, David prays for mercy and deliverance from his foes. Even before the answer came, David turned his prayer into praise (v. 9).
As I was getting close to finishing grad school, I remember the idea of writing my dissertation being very daunting. How do you just sit down and write 100+ pages? One of the best pieces of advice that I received during that time was: You don’t. You write a chapter, or a section of a chapter, or sometimes just a paragraph. You divvy up the project into bite-sized chunks to make it more manageable.
Sometimes, though, I would write and write and write, then look at my page count and realize it had barely budged. I would strum my fingers on the keyboard and ask myself, “How much longer will this take? How will I ever finish? I have so many people rooting for me; what if I fail?” Looking back in hindsight, of course, I’d like to tell that worrywart that she’s going to rock her dissertation; she’s going to graduate on schedule; and, she’ll even get a job offer of her dreams before it’s all said & done. 🙂
We’re only human, and it can be difficult to look beyond our current challenges and see the big picture in the future. If it makes us feel any better, we aren’t alone in our fretting. At least eight times in the book of Psalms (depending on the translation), the writer cried out, “How long?” to the Lord. King David would often beg God through poetry and song to spare his life when he was being pursued by his enemies, or forgive him when he felt God’s wrath hot on his neck for his sins. As I read the Psalms, I picture David cowering in a secret cave, scribbling his prayers by a campfire.
Do you realize that the same God who answered David’s prayers also listens to ours?
Is there something you are dealing with right now that you keep wondering how long until it is resolved? Don’t hesitate to take your concerns to the Lord, but don’t just dump them in prayer and then walk away. Spend time quietly listening for God to impress upon your heart what he might want you doing while you wait for the answer. Perhaps you are in a challenging situation at work, home, school, etc., and he wants to use you to be a witness to a specific person. Maybe your trial is a test of character, not a punishment. Whatever the situation, trust God to handle the details; you just be willing to listen and serve.
One of the most “dangerous” prayers (besides asking for patience) is to ask God for opportunity to witness to others. Be ready; be willing!
Does it ever frustrate you that God doesn’t respond the same way each time you pray? What might he be trying to get through to you?
Think about a time when you witnessed God do something amazing: an answered prayer, a miracle, etc. Give God glory & tell someone about it!