My lips have uttered countless prayers to God. Prayers for finances, my career, my relationships, for direction, and much more. Some He’d answer, and some He has yet to, but eventually will. But the one prayer God always answers, (quick too), is the prayer for patience. Have mercy.
Patience is an attribute that a lot of people desire to have and are credited for, when practiced and is noticed by others. It’s a way of exercising delayed gratification and sharpening self discipline. Patience by definition is: “The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” How many of us have mastered that!
Many times, the prayer for patience is usually made out of frustration and recognition that kicking and screaming doesn’t always get you what you want. And maybe if we are just a little more patient we’ll obtain results quicker. But that is not always so. Have you ever heard the saying “Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it?” Well it’s true! Especially when it comes to patience! I remember praying for a job once. 6 months passed, and I was still unemployed. Frustrated, I prayed for patience until I got the job. 12 more months passed (an entire year), and still nothing. I got hired a few months after that, and when I did it was exactly what I wanted, and needed. It was far from easy, and I almost regretted praying for patience. Waiting for an expected something with no telling when it will arrive is not the easiest thing to do. Keeping a positive attitude during the wait is even more challenging.
Although patience may seem conflicting when it comes to desire, it’s actually necessary. “But let patience have its perfect work…” the Bible tells us “… so that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James1:4).” In other words, “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it [patience] do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way (The Message Bible).” So the next time you decide to pray for patience, remember it’s a prayer that God especially takes delight in answering. But even more important to remember, is that it’s an answered prayer that will benefit you far more than you can imagine.