Prayer and Procrastination

God is infinitely patient. He knows what’s in my heart, even when I don’t or when I’m not ready to face it.

By Edward Grinnan, New York, New York

As appeared in

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25(NIV)

I know I’m in trouble when I start changing the font on my computer. Usually I resort to this tactic when I am procrastinating on a project or having trouble getting started. I’ll decide that the real problem is I’m bored with the typeface I’ve been using, and it’s well nigh time for a change. Or I’ll convince myself that the current font is totally inappropriate for the subject I’m addressing and then kill an hour or so finding just the right font that will inspire me.

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Of course I know that this is a game I’m playing with myself, that sooner or later I have to stop messing around and get down to the business at hand. It’s something I tend to do in my prayer life as well. I have trouble getting started sometimes, trying to figure out how to formulate what I want to pray for rather than just saying it, as if God will judge me on my prayer font rather than what’s in my heart.

I’ll put off what I really need to share with Him because I’m afraid to commit to the prayer, as if completely revealing my desires and feelings means letting go of things I don’t want to let go of, giving them to God when I really want to hang on for dear life. So I fool around with my spiritual typeface rather than getting down to business.

But God is infinitely patient. He knows what’s in my heart, even when I don’t or when I’m not ready to face it. He is infinitely tolerant of my prayerful procrastinations and will wait until I am finally ready to get honest, get real.

Lord, even after all these years, I still sometimes have trouble getting started with You. Silly, right? But when I am finally willing to hand You my burdens, Your arms are always outstretched.

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