Tag Archives: wait

Five Minute Fridays – WAIT

Five Minute Fridays – WAIT

five-minute-friday-wait

Picture taken in Haliburton by Janis Cox

 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shalll walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31, AKJV).

Once more, it is Friday – take 5 minutes and just write. Set the timer. Go.

I don’t like waiting. I admit it. I am someone who likes to work quickly. I get impatient with stories that take too long getting to the point.

I want to know NOW. 

I am one who is ‘on the go’ – or like to be ‘on the go’. At least that was the case until this January when I caught the flu. That put me out of commission for 3 weeks. Even now I have to make sure I don’t overdo it or I wear out.

That’s why this year my word is RESTORE – to intentionally find things that will restore my mind, body and spirit.

I am learning, albeit slowly, to wait for some things. Here are some of them.

  • Wait while someone is talking – don’t interrupt. 
  • Wait for traffic lights by talking to God (and not about the stop in traffic!)
  • Wait for God – actually sit for 5, 10, 15 minutes, whatever time it takes for me to feel the peace He brings.
  • Wait for my new picture book to be finished. Take it slowly and in His timing. Don’t fret.
  • Wait and watch for what God is doing in my life. Ponder over it. Reflect on it.

Prayer:

Lord help me to learn to wait – to rest in You. Help me to remember to take the minutes necessary to reconnect. Help me to listen to Your voice of when to GO. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Time’s up. Five minutes goes quickly doesn’t it. Joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Fridays.

Tweetable:

What does WAIT mean to you? Joining Kate Motaung for #FMFparty (click to tweet).

Join us on Fridays – take 5 minutes to share your thoughts – no editing, just write.

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Who Am I? – Janis Cox

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Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. Available in Kindle Format, in bookstores, online and from her website. Curriculum available upon request.

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You can find her on Facebook, and Twitter. Tadeo has his own Facebook Page.

 

 

 

What is the Date for Answered Prayer?

Please welcome a new contributor to Under the Cover of Prayer – Susan Harris. Please read her bio below this post. And she would love to hear your thoughts. Her first post is taken from her book Golden Apples in Silver Settings. The chapter is called “Fresh Resolve to Pray”. Stay tuned for the next instalment in this series.

What is the Date for Answered Prayer?

by Susan Harris

picture of a wrapped present

picture of a wrapped present (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When my daughter was approaching her third birthday, one of her friends sent a parcel by mail four weeks ahead of the big day. Radiance saw the gift before I could hide it so I laid it in full view high up on the book shelf. Each day she would look wistfully at the yellow-wrapped box, beckoning enticingly beyond her reach. I felt sorry for her and moved the box out of sight, but she kept asking to see it so I placed it on the shelf again. The little girl was very excited at the promise of the parcel which she knew contained something good because it was from someone who loved her.

Waiting was hard, and two-year olds have no concept of time. She measured time in terms of ‘how long it took to watch a Dora show on TV.’ We also measured time by the number of sleeps, but she could not conceptualize twenty eight sleeps until her birthday.

I am reminded that God measures time in eternity,
and we humans cannot fathom what that really is. (tweet this) 

Then the Holy Spirit whispered a nugget of truth regarding the delay of answered prayer:

“Each prayer you’ve prayed is like a gift waiting to be opened,
and it has a date on it.”
(tweet this)

It was a light bulb moment for me. And Friend, I believe that God has a response date on the packages of your prayers. And it could be today! Ten days from now, one year from now, or in another time frame.

Hold on to the Word of the Lord that each prayer you’ve uttered has been heard, and like a child waiting to open a gift anticipating the promise of its goodness, the answer to your prayer is waiting to unfold on its due date.

Through seasons of seemingly unanswered prayer – and I say ‘seemingly’ because Wait is an answer, just as No is a response – I want to encourage you to expect your answers. To vow that for better or for worse that you will never stop praying and believing. For your prayers will be answered. The fullness of time for you will come. This has been settled in heaven a long time ago and sealed with the caption:

“Not one jot or tittle of His word shall return unanswered.” (Matthew 5:18 paraphrased.)

Susan Harris

Susan Harris

Susan is a speaker, wife, mother, and former teacher. Prayer is her passion, and except for salvation, it is the subject on which she has spoken most frequently over 20 years of Christian ministry. She is also the author of three books – Little Copper Pennies for Kids, Little Copper Pennies: Celebrating the Life of the Canadian one cent piece (for adults) and Golden Apples in Silver Settings. She loves kittens, pennies, and making new friends. Find her at www.susanharris.ca, on Facebook at SusanHarrisCanadianAuthor, and on Twitter @SusanHarris20.

WHY DO WE NEED TO PRAY BEFORE GIVING AN ANSWER?

Pray Before Giving Your Answer

by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted July 12, 2012 with permission)

Nathan
TODAY’S SPECIAL: 2 Samuel 7:1-17

TO CHEW ON: “Then Nathan said to the king, ‘Go and do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.’
But it happened that night that the word of the Lord came to Nathan saying, ‘Go and tell my servant David, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Would you build a house for Me to dwell in?”‘” 2 Samuel 7:3-5.

As we read on from the focus verse above, we see that God said no to David’s idea of building Him a house. Rather, David’s seed (his son Solomon) was the one God had picked to do this (2 Samuel 7:12-13). And poor Nathan had to go back the next day and burst David’s bubble, so to speak.

Nathan’s quick, off-the-cuff reaction to David’s question reminds me of how I so often respond to ideas and opportunities that come my way: Oh, that sounds like a good idea, interesting, fun! Yes. I’ll get involved. But I neglect to consult with God first just like Nathan. Then later, usually during my quiet time, God and I revisit the thing I’ve just committed to. More than once I’ve sensed I should pull back, or pull out.

That’s why I’m trying to make it a habit to defer making decisions on opportunities, or projects, or new commitments until I’ve had a chance to check with the Boss. For what seems like a great idea to me may not be what God has in mind at all.

Even Jesus adopted this policy. He said: “… I do nothing of Myself but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things” – John 8:28.

PRAYER:

Dear God, please help me to subject my opportunities and involvements to Your scrutiny and to be obedient to Your directions. Amen.

MORE: Prayer and work

“It is not prayer in addition to work, but prayer simultaneous with work. We precede, enfold and follow all our work with prayer.” – Richard Foster (quoted in Prayer Points p. 54).
“There is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once. On one level we may be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship, and a gentle reception to divine breathings.”  – Thomas Kelly (Quoted in Prayer Points p. 55-56).

Related articles

Violet Nesdoly

Violet freelances in several genres and has been published in a variety of print and online publications. Her articles, stories, and activities have appeared in Keys for Kids, Devotions for Girls, Devotions for Boys, Clubhouse, Guide, Primary Treasure, Partners, Pockets and others. She has also published two books of poetry and is an avid blogger. She is a member of Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and a professional member of The Word Guild.

ARE YOU WAITING?

Are You Waiting?

by Janis Cox

by Janis Cox

by Janis Cox

Oh – to learn to slow down. A number of times in the past week I have read about “waiting”.

        • My Advent study from Margaret Feinberg – first week – WAIT.
        • A speaker at a women’s dinner said, “learn to unitask”.
        • Tadeo – my turtle goes slowly – something I need to learn.
        • Then I read Jesus Calling – “it is good to wait quietly” (Lamentations 3:26 NIV).

I took a deep breath. I sighed. Yes I do need to slow down or I will miss the waiting. This waiting for Christmas can be a Holy time if I let it.

I responded to Margaret’s words in Wonderstruck.

I particularly liked when she wrote about “Three Word Prayers”. I realized I needed to slow down my words to God. To release them ONE at a time.

Thank You God

Wonder. Power. Healing.

Search my soul.

Sense my being.

“Every word, every syllable, demanded mindfulness” (Wonderstruck, page 78).

“Three word prayers required me to reengage spiritual muscles that had long ago grown flabby” (Wonderstruck, page 80)”

Do I ramble at God like a nagging wife? Or do I slow it down and make each word count?

“Be still and know that I am God.”

That is what God said. Not chatter and beg – but be STILL.

So in this first week of Advent I have tried to be still. I have tried to seek the quietness that He wants. And you know what – it is good. I rested in Him.

The First Week of Advent

A time to wait
A time to listen to God
Still your hearts
Still your souls.

Slow down your thoughts
Focus on Him
Let distractions cease
[even for a few minutes]

Who is this God?
What is eternity?

“Be still
And know

I am God

Get to know Me.”

Breathe

God is LOVE
God knew you before you were born
God knows you now
God will know you forever!

Janis Cox 2012

“Modern man has lost the perspective of eternity. To distract himself form the gaping jaws of death, he engages in ceaseless activity and amusement” (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young).

Ceaseless activity VS Stillness in Him?

Which are you doing this Christmas?

I would love to hear from you.

Here is Chris Tomlin and Everlasting God (Wait Upon the Lord)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhMdWjL2kiU]

Jan Cox

Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive has published Tadeo Turtle. See more information at Jan’s Website.

GOD, ANSWER ME QUICKLY!

God, Answer Me Quickly!

by Mark. D. Roberts (reprinted with permission)

“Don’t turn away from me
in my time of distress.
Bend down to listen,
and answer me quickly when I call to you.” Psalm 102:1-28

When we ask a question or share a concern with someone, we expect a quick response. Gone are the days when we would write a letter and wait patiently for days or even weeks for a return letter. Technology has fed our hunger for instantaneous communication. In fact, we call one popular form of this “IM” or “Instant Messaging.”

But, even those of us who settle for the older forms of digital interaction, such as email, nevertheless want quick feedback. It’s not uncommon these days for someone to send an email and then a text to make sure the recipient got the email. If there isn’t a quick response to either of these, a cell phone call is not far behind. We want answers and we want them now, thank you very much.

We can also be like this in our communication with God. But our desire for God to respond quickly to our prayers isn’t simply a product of a technological age. In Psalm 102, for example, we read the prayer of an individual who badly needs God’s help. Verse 2 reads, “Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you” (102:2). Desperate circumstances beget desperate prayers, both in our day as well as centuries ago.

The psalmist’s cry for God to answer and be quick about it impresses me in two ways. First, I’m struck by the boldness of this prayer. The writer doesn’t limit his language in ways I’d be inclined to do: “Who am I to tell God to act quickly? God’s ways are not my ways. God’s timing is not my timing. I have no right to demand an instant response from God.” As we see throughout the Psalms, there is no restraint here, no meticulous polishing of the words. The psalmist tells God exactly what he wants: Answer me…now!

Yet, my second impression is that God had not been acting according to the psalm writer’s timetable. It is true that God’s ways are not my ways and God’s timing is not my timing. Though it can be terribly hard to wait on God, and though we should feel free to tell God to hurry up, nevertheless, often God moves in ways that seem to us to be very slow—painfully slow.

A friend of mine is looking for work. He knows what he feels called to do professionally, yet the opportunities for him to do this are few. He can easily become discouraged, wondering why God is taking so long. Psalm 102 encourages my friend to be honest with God, asking for a speedy response. And, at the same time, this psalm implicitly reminds my friend–and all of us–that God’s timing is not our own. Thus, we live in the tension between telling God to act quickly and asking for the patience to trust that God’s ways and times are always the best.

Mark D. Roberts

Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts is Senior Advisor and Theologian-in-Residence of Foundations for Laity Renewal, a multifaceted ministry in the Hill Country of Texas and the parent organization of Laity Lodge. He has written several books, including his most recent: Can We Trust the Gospels? (Crossway, 2007)

He blogs at  http://www.patheos.com/community/markdroberts, and writes a daily devotional for http://www.thehighcalling.org.

DO EVERYTHING AND STAND!

Dimitra writes at LovingMinistry.Almost Daily. She has agreed to be a guest blogger today. We, at Under the Cover of Prayer, thank her for her post.

Do everything and stand!

by Dimitra (reprinted with permission)

It is written in Ephesians 6v13:

“Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

What is “after you have done everything, to stand”? A lot of times, we talk too much. We ask the Lord for this and that, we continue begging, crying, asking…with no stop! Do we need to do so? I do not think so. The Lord is very clear through His instructions: we have a physical, emotional, spiritual need? We can put it in prayer, believe that He heard and wait with thanksgiving to receive it. As simple as that. We ask; we fast (if the Holy Spirit asks for it); we continue giving thanks as if we have received it already and that’s all. As we have done all, then we stand, then we are still.

What is the purpose of being still? At first we can hear what God has to tell us. When we make noise we cannot hear! We hear only our talk, me, myself and I! When we are still, there is a quiet environment in our soul and we can hear His voice. His voice might give us directions of how to achieve what we need; He might give us confirmations and so on.

When we are Still means that we Trust. How can we ask the Lord and then continue praying about it as He is deaf? It shows no trust. When we ask Him, we trust that His word is true. Lord Jesus Himself promised that whatever we ask the Father on His name (Jesus Christ Name) we shall have it. He keeps His promises; He is faithful and not a liar. A lot of times we have no patience. When time passes and our request is not implemented, we go back and beg a little more, as we do not trust Him that He will do it, as we do not trust Him that He will do it at the RIGHT TIME! We have our time but He has His time. He knows more than us and He chooses the time that we and all around us are ready to receive the miracle.

Amen!

I pray that our Father in Heavens help us to stand in what we believe, not to doubt and to strengthen us to fulfil what His will is in our lives, in Jesus Name I pray, amen!

Love and blessings for a creative week ,

Dimitra

LEARNING TO PRAY AND WAIT

Learning to Pray and Wait

by Judith Lawrence (reprinted with permission)

Mystics are what the word implies—people called to know the divine through its mysteries. Many people today want the mysteries and challenges in their lives solved and resolved quickly, but mystics know that we all have a deeper task: to accept that some challenges come into our lives in defiance of human reason, logic, order, justice, fairness, and even common sense. They know that underlying these challenges is a divine order and sense that may be revealed in time. …you invite the sacred into your life; you learn to pray and wait, to ready yourself for direction. Mystics know that their instructions will come along with the tasks God sets for them. Caroline Myss, Entering the Castle Pages 16/17.

In this day and age we are used to having things instantly. Almost as soon as we think about a meal we can pop something in the microwave and eat within a very few minutes. People who live in an urban area can go to a store close by and pick up something they forgot to get when they went grocery shopping. One can think of what one wants and it almost magically appears.

This may be less so for those that live in a rural area. When you live outside of town you can’t get pizza or Chinese food delivered, you have to go in to town and pick it up yourself. It is not as easy to borrow a book from the public library—you can’t just walk over—you have to get in the car and drive in to town. There isn’t even any public transportation where I live.

So those who live in rural areas may be closer to knowing how to wait for something, not expecting things to come instantly to hand or mouth. It may be easier, therefore, for rural people to learn to pray and wait.

When we receive challenges in our lives we may not immediately recognize them as coming from God. But if we are in the habit of praying to God as a regular discipline we are more likely to be aware that difficulties, mysteries, or challenges may well be sent to us from God.

Does that mean that we will understand what God expects of us right away? Not necessarily. You learn to pray and wait, to ready yourself for direction. Mystics know that their instructions will come along with the tasks God sets for them.

Judith Lawrence

Judith is a Professional member of The Word Guild and author of two non-fiction books, Prayer Companion: A Treasury of Personal Meditation, and Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years, as well as one book of mystical poetry, Grapes from the Vine. Judith writes a monthly meditation, which can be found on her website: www.judithlawrence.ca.  Judith’s latest spiritual book, Highway of Holiness: Soul Journey is now available. You can purchase it through Wipf and Stock Publishers.

 

BE STILL AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR THE LORD

Be Still and Wait Patiently for the Lord

by Janice Keats

As we go about our daily living often in a hurried pace, it may be challenging to find a time of solitude to commune with God. How do we find time to sit down and dine with God? By just doing that—by taking decisive action. Taking time out for communion with God is perhaps the intentional way while other times it becomes natural and responsive. Could it depend upon the mood or closeness you feel to God?

Sometimes our praying can be hurried or our minds too cluttered to concentrate or focus clearly on Worship.  But solemn time with God can be very meaningful and intimate.

Time spent with God can be meaningful in many ways:

  • Our love grows warmer,
  • The desire to know Him better increases,
  • Our knowledge increases,
  • Our hearts are filled with compassion to serve, and
  • Obedience to Him becomes a priority.

 “The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip” (Psalm 37: 31 NIV).

If God’s promises that we learn about are sure, then our faith should be at rest.

“For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones” (Psalm 37:28 NIV).

In Psalm 37:25 we read, “…I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” I wonder how many blessings we miss for not trusting God completely.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently before him” (Psalm 37:7 NIV).

We can learn so much by entering into His presence. Maybe just sitting in His presence is enough. He is all we need. Time well spent with God produces a thirst for more—more peace and more of Him.

With so many prayer requests that are presented to us by friends and loved ones, both personally and corporately, we still need quality communion time. Make room for your most trusted friend!

“The Lord is far from the wicked but He hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29 NIV).

Janice Keats

Janice is a freelance writer, and speaker. Her passion is developing and teaching workshops on various Biblical Studies, and planning ladies night out events. She is a certified lay Pastoral Counsellor and is presently employed in ministry. She has had several articles published in various local, provincial and national newspapers.

She is the author of, Poems of Inspiration and Occasion and, A Journey to the Heart of Evangelism. Future works include a devotional book and an audio book of her poems. She is married with three grown children, all of whom are accomplished musicians. Her twin daughters, known as The Keats, are country singers and her son is a recording engineer. Janice Keatshttp://themasterspath.wordpress.com/

THE PERSISTENT WIDOW

The Persistent Widow

by Judith Lawrence (reprinted with permission August 2010)

This month’s meditation is on the 15th parable of Jesus unique to the Gospel of St. Luke. It is the Parable of the Persistent Widow, and is found in Luke 18 verses 1 – 8 (NLT).

Jesus takes every opportunity afforded to him to teach his disciples how to pray. The parable of the Persistent Widow is to show the disciples how important it is to have faith when praying to God, and how they should never give up on prayer.

In the parable, Christ says that even the unjust judge will answer the request for justice if only to get relief from the widow’s persistence or obstinacy. Jesus said:

Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night?” Luke 8: 6, 7 (New Living Translation).

Sometimes we give up on prayer too quickly. We live in a society of instant responses—we write an e-mail to someone across the other side of town and, in a few moments, it is possible to receive an answer to that e-mail. If we need to eat, we can take a ready-made dinner out of the freezer, put it in the microwave, press a few buttons and, in less than five minutes we can have a hot, satisfying meal.

When we make a prayer request to God, we often expect the same instant results as the reply to our e-mails or a hot meal from a frozen dinner. We do not expect to be kept waiting.

But God has his own timing; he sees the big picture and not just the small world that surrounds our individual needs. God answers our prayers at the right time, which only God knows; we have to be faithful and continue praying even when it seems as if God is not listening—he is listening but it may not be the right time for our prayers to be answered and so we must learn to pray and wait with faith.

God may answer our prayers in unexpected ways; and because God’s answer to our prayers may be unexpected we have to be watchful. If we are looking for a particular result in answer to our prayers, we may miss the answer that God presents to us outside the box.

Jesus sums up the parable by asking the question, When the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith? It is important to keep on praying in faith even when we have been waiting for a long time without an apparent answer to our prayers. This is one of the ways we can practice being faithful so that we can be sure that we will be among the number whom Christ finds with faith when he returns to earth.