Wait into the Prayer

“Praying… demands a relationship in which you allow the other to speak there, allow Him to touch the sensitive core of your being, and allow Him to see so much that you would rather leave in darkness.”Henri Nouwen

I am mystified at how often I have opened my mouth in prayer and yet, at the same time, closed my heart to God.  I marvel at how my litany of requests, wishes and desires roll so easily off of my tongue.  An endless inventory is uttered and not granted, a begging of desires for which I only have one answer my ears will hear and then… The End.  Amen.  So be it…

 I walk away.  Each footstep takes me further and further down the road from God.   I have travelled that road many times and I have travelled it long, so long that my feet are bloodied and worn. The whole way I am looking for answers to my petitions around the next bend and at the bottom of the next hill.  For just over there, God will meet me.  Just over there.  I plod and I stumble and yet continue for surely, surely the answers that I seek are just ahead. 

This road has led me to some lonely places where I am all but consumed with this frantic searching for God and who knows what else.  And yet, I am not alone for,  with every step of the way, each footfall, God has been there with me waiting, just waiting for me to look back once and catch a glimpse of the shadow of the cross. He is waiting for me to remember that because of His sacrifice, I have the right to enter into relationship with God.(Romans 5:11)

So as I ponder this concept of waiting into the prayer, I am flooded with thoughts of another’s prayer.  One uttered in an olive grove, “as was His custom…” (Luke 22:39), where the depths of His soul howled to God in a desperate petition to “please take this cup of suffering away…” (Luke 22: 42). He knew. He knew and He entered the garden anyway.  This God-man knew that despite the petition, the deadly grief (Mark 14:34), He knew God’s answer to His prayer was marked with suffering.  He knew God’s answer, and yet He still unveiled His heart and asked, even though the answer was “no.”  So he waited and “an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened Him” (Luke 22:43) and He entered into prayer and reconciled himself to God’s plan. His love for me was enough to quiet His anxiety and wait, just wait.     I ponder and I wonder. Can I wait and answer the demands of this relationship that has been purchased on my behalf?

Waiting has long been an issue for me.  Waiting, leaning and listening.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

What if God doesn’t show up?

Waiting.

What if I wait and wait and wait and He doesn’t come?

Oh what atheism I encourage with that statement, that my waiting is for naught.  I have been blinded by fear and disappointment.  I have strained my eyes to see through the darkness for what would come because I didn’t look back and see God waiting for me.  He waits out my impatience.  He waits out my foot stomping at unfairness. He just waits for me to turn and, with palms open, receive.

God waits because He loves me and has more for me than I could possibly imagine.  He waits because His love for me “demands a relationship.”

Wait.  Just wait.

2 Comments

  1. I have been really convicted this past year about the impotence of my prayer life. How I rattle off in much the same way but with so little faith. My mom always prayed for us, the fervent mama heart types of prayers and I long to be a woman who seeks God that way, with petitions and passion instead of my lukewarm wish list and disconnected heart. Love this post!

Leave a Reply