Instead of being frustrated about a delay or interruption, invite God to fill the time.
Posted in , Dec 6, 2020
Just like a kid, I get impatient every year around this time. I want Christmas to come. Now. If I pray while I’m waiting, my prayer is usually of the “speed up time” and “make it get here quicker” variety. At least those have been my most frequent prayers when it comes to waiting for a package to be delivered, waiting in line at a store, waiting for the kitchen timer to go off or something else.
Waiting can be hard, excruciating even. Such moments try our patience and test our sanctification. But waiting can be good for us, particularly if we learn to pray in those moments. Instead of asking God to speed up time or make the wait “go away,” try praying a one-word prayer:
The next time you find yourself in a “waiting room” of some kind, instead of scrolling through emails or playing a game on the phone, try turning your thoughts to God and asking Him to use the wait for His purposes. The results can be astounding. He may answer some other prayer. He may prompt you to close your eyes, slow your heart rate and enjoy a few minutes of peace. He may use moments of waiting to steer you away from danger or make you right on time for a surprising opportunity.
While you wait—in line, on hold, in traffic—ask God to fill those moments with His presence. It could be music. Maybe petitions for the needs of those around you or something else of His kind, providential, even miraculous choosing.
When I’m approaching a traffic jam in the car, my map app will sometimes suggest an alternate route that ends up saving time and frustration. That sort of thing can happen anytime we face a delay or detour. Pray just one word to God: re-direct. Allow Him to suggest alternate thoughts, routes and actions that can redeem the wait in wonderful ways. It might be an unexpected gift idea, a thoughtful way to reach out to a coworker or even a long-neglected habit you want to restart.
That’s it. Just three words. Keep them in mind and pray them the next time you’re faced with an interruption or delay. They can turn waiting into a wonder of beauty and blessing, prayer and possibility. And that is especially welcome at this most wonderful time of the year.