Prayer is a mystery.
Four verbs challenge my desire for a formula and simultaneously expose my heart’s weakness:
1. Waiting. Um, not such an easy assignment for impatient me in this hyper-fast world. Whining comes much more natural for me.
2. Watching. Watchmen in times past stood on towers and ramparts scanning the horizon for hours and hours, straining their eyes to catch the first hint of anyone approaching whether for good or evil. I’m more likely to watch in prayer for a few minutes or days, not see an answer and in resignation effectively close my eyes.
Have I ever woken to a new day and thought, Today may be the day of God’s answer … my oft-repeated, years-long prayer? Actually, sadly, no. I’m more likely to waver, view no hopeful cloud on the horizon, and give up in discouragement. Faith requires expectancy–certainty of what lies beyond my eyes.
3. Working. I’m a task-oriented worker bee, so at first glance I think, Yeah, I got this one. But what kind of work does faith require? Orchestrating circumstances so “God can come through?” That’s wrangling purest definition. A fine line, often so thin I cannot see it, separates working with faith that is linked with God’s purposes and a faithless work that is linked to my control.
4. Wrestling. When I have a list of prayer requests on paper I can easily repeat them. Repetition equals wrestling, right? Yet this term originates from Jacob’s physical wrestling match with an angel when Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” He literally pinned this celestial being to the ground. Jacob was so desperate for God’s favor and blessing he wrestled all night until he received it.
I do not understand this complex supernatural relationship between God and us humans. But He wants me to wrestle in prayer and not worry.
So like a child I will ask for these four W’s of faith. I am incapable of this kind of faith on my own. Only the King of Kings can grant what He knows I need. Will you, with me, ask for the kind of faith that waits, watches, works and wrestles?