How long must I wait?

how long oh lordLook with pity, Lord on these things, and deliver us who call upon You now; deliver those too who call not on You yet, that they may call on You, and You may deliver them. ~~ St. Augustine

 

When you pray for someone who has strayed from the Presence of God, and pray that like the Prodigal’s Son they will return, and then they don’t – how long do you keep praying for them? How long do you keep bringing their soul before the Throne and ask God to deliver them from their troubles?

Our world is an impatient one – classic example – as I was driving to visit my mom yesterday the man ahead of me didn’t want to wait for two ducks to cross the road so he hit one of them – not bad, she was in shock, she was able continue on after a few minutes – but, really, how much time did he save by not waiting for a duck to get out of the path of his car? 

If I pray for some one to be delivered, or healed or helped I must be committed to praying for as long as it takes. Even if it takes a lifetime. It’s hard  to make a spiritual commitment like that – at least for me. But if I pray for God to work in His Time – not mine, because  I am in God’s time, it might take a lifetime of prayers and, I need to remember that I may never even see the outcome of the prayer while on this earth.

I believe that God answers every prayer in the way that is best for the pray-er and the pray-ee. And if I believe that then I must be willing to trust Him to answer in His Time – not mine.

Help me to be patient and wait on You, O Lord (but help me right now! 😉 )

Time

There is no such thing as time. The past is gone and no longer exists, the future is an assumption that has not yet come, all you have is the moment–this one–but it too has passed. . . just now.   ~  Peggy Noonan

time peace ab

I’ve begun reading a book on time and being at peace with it. How does one even begin to be at peace with time? When our lives are regulated by the tick of the clock, the sound of the alarm, the ding of the bell? Well, that’s what I am hoping to discover.

A long time ago I wore wrist watches – I loved them, collected them, one to match any outfit. Then slowly I became aware of myself constantly checking my watch – all day long, just checking to see what time it was. I didn’t like being a slave to my wristwatch so I took it off, put them away and haven’t worn one for a very long time. I was freed from time.

Or, so I thought. I just exchanged one time-master for another. Now I’m a slave to the clock in my car, on my phone, at my desk at work. I constantly watch the clock, time exactly how many minutes I have before I absolutely have to start getting ready for work, what time I have to leave for work, my breaks at work, time to log off from work, what time to go to bed to start it all over again. It seems I’ve learned next to nothing in all these years.

Maybe now is the time for me to learn to be at peace with time. To learn to flow with it and not worship at it’s altar. God told us not to put other gods before Him; it’s time I turned away from god of time and toward the God Who Created Time.

 

The greater work

Prayer doesn’t fit us for the greater work; Prayer is the Greater Work. – Oswold Chambers

Ezra Praying by Gustave Dore

When I was younger and went to an huge evangelical church I was a “Prayer Warrior” in the Prayer Room. The Prayer Room was open 24-7 and you could sign-up for an hour at least one day a week. It wasn’t mandatory and it was hard. It was supposed to be. – stopping your life for an hour a day to pray for everyone else without a thought to your own struggles and without boasting about it. Even in the thrall of evangelistic beliefs I found taking that hour once a week was a struggle. Who wants to pray for others when your own life sucks?

With a little perspective (and age) I now see how important it is to pray for someone other than myself. When I pray for someone else, I am walking in the footsteps of Jesus. He set the example by praying for others when His life really sucked. I can’t imagine being tortured and hung on a cross and still asking for forgiveness – not for Himself, but for the very people torturing him. I don’t know if I have that brand of selflessness inside of me. I don’t know if I even want to find out.

This is what I do know: that when I pray for anything outside of my life, I am closer to God than when I pray for me. And, full disclosure here, it is hard. I am a woman who is at the core of her being a selfish person. It’s all about me, my life, my needs, my wants. To give all of that up willingly for someone else – well, it’s beyond me.

But perhaps God doesn’t require me to do it all the time – after all He Created me so He Knows me. Maybe it isn’t about the result but about the attempt.