Psalm 400.1 NIV – I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
Some years ago I was trying to phone a friend and got a busy signal at each repeated attempt. Upon reaching him the next day, and knowing that he had two teenage daughters in the home, I suggested that he might want to invest in having call waiting phone service added to his extension. My friend replied that he already had call waiting and that I wasn’t thinking like a teenage girl, call waiting only meant that you could be talking to one friend while you had a second friend on hold. As his daughters were tying up both lines, anyone else attempting to call had to simply wait.
That evening I was trying to call my friend, it was frustrating to get the recurring busy signal. Each time I heard it meant that I had to wait longer before I would be able to speak with him. Waiting is often hard for many of us.
Often, when we pray, we petition God, asking for healing or changes in our circumstances. Many have made the same request repeatedly and have wondered if their prayer would be answered. We humans crave control and our prayers are often for things for which we have no control.
To continue to pray for God to intervene gives us time to loosen our perceived control and to increase our trust in Him. Waiting allows us time to recognize that, in our weakness, God is the one who is ultimately in control. The waiting allows us time to prepare to fully appreciate His power and mercy as he administers it in his own good time.
Waiting often reveals our true motives. If our motives have good intention, and our prayers are committed, the waiting will weed out any desires of self interest. Waiting builds patience and it changes our perspectives towards those things that are most important. Waiting builds anticipation and anticipation helps us to appreciate answered prayer all the greater. Waiting, and continued prayer, builds intimacy and dependency upon God.
“The most important lesson I have learned while waiting on God is to pray my way through the ‘waiting time'”. Karen O’Reilly