Today, I will face my problems, unwrap them and seek to understand their component parts by spreading them out before the Lord, thank Him in advance for what He’s going to do, follow orders for what I am to do, and stand by to watch His miracles.
The truth of the matter is, we all come to prayer with a tangled mass of motives altruistic and selfish, merciful and hateful, loving and bitter. Frankly, this side of eternity we will never unravel the good from the bad, the pure from the impure. God is big enough to receive us with all our mixture.
God wants us to give us good things, but He also wants us to grow in our trust and to learn His ways. As such, instead of instantly giving us everything we ask for, whenever we ask for it, God encourages us to draw closer to Him. As we learn to wait, we also learn to walk in faith and learn how to be good stewards of all He has provided for us. We don’t always appreciate God’s timing, but His timing is always best, even though we may not think so at the moment. In the time of waiting, look back at the times you rejoiced when you realized a delayed response to prayer came at the exact right time. Any earlier and it would have not born the same yield of fruit.
No principle is more definitely enforced by Christ than that prevailing prayer must have in it the quality which waits and perseveres, the courage that never surrenders, the patience which never grows tired, the resolution that never wavers.
[The Sabbath] has largely been forgotten by the church, which has uncritically mimicked the rhythms of the industrial and success-obsessed West. The result? Our road-weary, exhausted churches have largely failed to integrate Sabbath into their lives as vital elements of Christian discipleship. It is not as though we do not love God—we love God deeply. We just do not know how to sit with God anymore. We have become perhaps the most emotionally exhausted, psychologically overworked, and spiritually malnourished people in history.