Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27:14 (ESV)
Oh sisters, we are all waiting, aren’t we? Waiting for something seems to always be an underlying current, the chorus and refrain to which the daily returns. Deliverance from something, perhaps—a physical ailment, a dispute, imprisonment under harsh leaders. A someone—whether it be a spouse, a child, a friend. Direction from the Lord, with wisdom—for where to move, what job to take, which college to attend, how many children to have, which medical avenue to take. Waiting for results—a university entrance exam, semester finals, medical tests, hormone levels in a scary pregnancy, waiting for a wayward child to return to the fold.
Questions punctuate so much of our human life, and often the divine answers remain just beyond the reach of our fingertips or grey matter. It takes faith to wait. It often takes courage. God knows, it takes patience! These things are not easy. And we can not drum them up within ourselves—rather, we need the Lord to grant us (as one of my beloved hymns says) “patience to watch, to wait, to weep, though mercy long delay; courage our fainting souls to keep, and trust Thee though Thou slay” (Lord, Teach Us How to Pray Aright by James Montgomery, 1818). And so, for whatever you wait, my sisters, let us come together seeking the Lord today. Let us together kneel at His feet, interjecting your personal nuances where they fit, and ask for the Lord to gird us with trust, courage, and patience in the waiting—and, ultimately, deliverance from the waiting into joyful contented acceptance of the answer He provides.
God our Rock, Ebenezer that I cling to in the stony places and are reminded that You are with me (1 Samuel 7:12), I come to You now asking for Your name to be hallowed here in this place where I bow my heart, quiet my soul, and lay burdens at Your feet. I seek You now, and recognize Your goodness—please be good and merciful and gracious to me as I wait for You, for Your presence and Your answers to my requests. (Lamentations 3:25) For You alone, O God, my soul waits in silence. You are my hope, my rock, my salvation, my fortress. I can not be shaken, even though the waiting is long, because I rest on Your strength. God, please help me to know You deeply and truly as my salvation and my glory, make me to feel your strength as my rock, and your protection as my refuge. O God, I come here to pour my heart out before You! Please cause me to trust in You as I bring my yearning to Your ears anew, and give me trust in Your character rather than in Your deeds. (Psalm 62:5-8) You establish my steps, and I delight in Your way—even if I fall, You will not cast me headlong because You uphold me. (Psalm 37:23-24) O Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father, I am waiting, and in some ways it feels like the waiting will never end. It can seem as though I have been waiting forever already. Give me the strength to continue waiting, and to continue asking until You have made Your answer clear. When You wait to be gracious, please exalt Yourself in showing mercy. Bless me, my God and my King, in Your justice as I wait for You and wait for Your response. (Isaiah 30:18) During the waiting, please be gracious. Be my arm every morning, so that I will have the wisdom and the integrity to set my hands to necessary tasks, to prayer, to reaching up to You in faith. In this way, please save me from trouble—anxiety, worry, grasping for control—but rather be a majestic deliverer, leading me through broad places where enemies can not reach me. Lord, You are my Judge, my King, the One who commands & my heart longs to obey—You will save me. You will not lose me in this season of waiting, and You will not set me aside. (Isaiah 33:2, 21-22) O Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
My heart is faint, Father, and You do not always feel nearby. Sometimes it is like calling to You from the farthest end of the earth! Even when I do not feel You, I know You are here—I know You hear my cry, O God, and listen to my prayer. You are my refuge and my strong tower against every enemy—the enemy of illness, of dispute, of missing someone, of grief, of longing—and against the ultimate Adversary the Devil, and his demons prowling about me in spiritual warfare. God my Captain, lead me to the rock that is higher than I! (Psalm 61:1-3) Lift up my face so that I look to You alone, so that I will wait for the God of my salvation, so that I will know with confidence that You hear me. You are gracious to me, and You forgive my transgressions with such magnanimity! Thank You for delighting in steadfast love, showing Your compassion to me, and treading my iniquities underfoot. O my Savior! You cast my sins into the depths of ocean and You put away Your anger! While I continue in a season of waiting, please remind me of Your past faithfulness and the way You bend low to carry me. (Micah 7:7, 18-19) Father, as I rest in the righteousness of Jesus Christ the Lord, please save me again, delivering me from snares of wickedness and peril. Thank You for being my haven of peace—please enable me to rest in this sanctuary of Your presence while I wait. (Psalm 37:39-40) O Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Sometimes it feels like I say things before I believe them, and I wait for You to bring my heart to follow my words and my mind. So God, I will trust You. I will not be afraid. Please make it so! You, God, are my salvation, my strength, and my song. Because of this, You have my trust, and I know that I do not need to fear. (Isaiah 12:2) Hear my voice, my Savior, from the depths of guttural waiting, longing, yearning. Do not ignore my cries, but be attentive. You hear me—so please listen as I beg for Your mercy. I wait for You, Lord, with my soul, and I hope in Your Word. I search Your Scriptures repeatedly, and bring my pleas to You as I wait for You, Your presence, Your answer to my petitions. The waiting feels dark and unpredictable like night. I long for the morning of revelation, knowledge, revealed paths, increased wisdom, indescribable peace. (Psalm 130:1-2, 5-6) Give me patience—it is even fearsome to pray for patience!—but grant me extra measures of endurance while I wait for You. Incline Yourself to me, hear my cry, hurry to give help, and be pleased to deliver me from this waiting and this thorn! Do not delay in coming to my side with Your help and Your deliverance, O God, for even though I am lowly, You think of me, You hear me, You know me. (Psalm 40:1, 13, 17) I commit my way to You, Lord, and trust in You for Your actions. I believe You will continue to bring forth righteousness and justice as predictably as the rising sun. I trust You! While I wait for You, busy my hands with good works and faithfulness. Allow me to truly delight in You, and to place the desires of my heart completely in Your trustworthy hands. Make me still before You—and Lord my God, strengthen me with joy and peace to wait patiently, diligently, prayerfully for You. (Psalm 37:3-7) O Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Father God, my Lord, please answer me. These days are troublesome! Protect me by the strong name of the God of my fathers. Send help from the sanctuary, support from Zion! Remember my offerings and regard my sacrifices. Please, loving Father and Lord of all, grant me the desire of my heart according to Your will—bring my plans to peaceful fulfillment as You direct my steps. I shout for joy because You have saved me, and in the name of God I desire to set up banners of loud praise again when Your deliverance comes anew! Lord, fulfill my petitions. (Psalm 20:1-5) Hear my request and end my waiting in Your mercy. God of all grace, because of Your holy will, and for the sake of Your glorious Kingdom, I boldly bring these things to Your feet. Please remember me.
O Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer. We wait for You. Amen.