Afraid to Pray for Patience

The Christian experience, and life in general, is filled with waves. The stillness we look for is in Christ. Opalescent Sea, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition prints at Great Big Canvas and iCanvasART.

The Christian existence is filled with ludicrously shortsighted sayings that sound funny when we first hear them (too often, from the pulpit), but ultimately result in the weakening of our faith and approach to the throne of God.

Like this one, which I politely tolerated long before there were Facebook memes:

“Don’t pray for patience, because by golly, God’ll put you in situations to make sure you get it!” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Or, if you must, LOL.

Given that the average human being has an eye out for comfort and security, the end result to statements like this is that we won’t pray for patience, because that cold-blooded, insensate God we serve is ready to slap us around with suffering and pain, since, well, we asked for it.

This article is excerpted from my blog, Commonsense Christianity at BeliefNet. To read the rest, please follow the link to The Christian 401k Plan.

Three times a week at Commonsense Christianity I write about, well, commonsense Christianity. There are a lot of substitutes out there, and I’m rooting around in the woodpile, turning over logs and looking for bugs.

This article is linked to Christian Mom Blogger, Essential Things, Womanhood with Purpose, Anything Goes Friday, That Friday Blog Hop, My Turn for Us, A Conquered Mess, Friday Flash Blog, A Look at the Book, Katherine’s Corner, The Deliberate Mom, All Things with Purpose, Hope in Every Season, Mom on Demand, I Choose Joy, Serving Joyfully, Graced Simplicity, Hearts for Home, Ducks in a Row, Adorned from Above, Raising Homemakers, Joy Focused Learning, Makeovers and Motherhood, True Aim Education, To Love Honor and Vacuum, A Little R and R, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Wow Me Wednesday, A Wise Woman, My Disorganized Life, Wholehearted Wednesdays, My Love for WordsWomen of WorshipMoms the WordLife of FaithMonday Musings, Babies and BeyondInspire Me Monday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Share Your Stuff Tuesdays, Abiding Woman, Turn It up Tuesdays,

 

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About This Woman Writes

Carolyn Henderson is the marketing manager of Steve Henderson Fine Art. In addition to her This Woman Writes blog, Carolyn writes a regular art column for FineArtNews, an online newsletter for artists and art collectors.
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8 Responses to Afraid to Pray for Patience

  1. Tshanina says:

    No one wants to go through painful times. But the Lord wants to grow our faith, and praying for patience will likely do that!

    Thank for sharing at Wow Me Wednesday!

    • I agree, Tshanina — I have been reading C.S. Lewis’ Problem with Pain, and he points out that the problem isn’t that God doesn’t love us or is interested in us, and that’s why we’re in pain.

      The problem, from our standpoint, is that He loves us SO MUCH that He is more concerned about the depth of who we are, as opposed to our feeling happy all the time. It’s a dense book to get through, but filled with much to ponder.

  2. For those who do pray for patience, here is some encouragement. It comes. It really does. I HATE waiting for the prayers that mean the most to me to be answered but the journey can be very rewarding. When patience finally starts to develop, so does the peace that passes all understanding. PRICELESS! Your peace and patience will help others but you just being there. Few words are needed. They feel it. They like it.

    • This is encouraging and beautiful — I always appreciate an honest Christian who admits that they HATE waiting, and that they don’t do this perfectly. That describes all of us, actually, but few, like you my friend, are willing to admit it. But that you do, encourages others — it builds up Christ, not ourselves, when we acknowledge our weakness.

  3. Reblogged this on Angie Benjamin and commented:
    Food for the Thought:
    The Christian experience, and life in general, is filled with waves. The stillness we look for is in Christ.

    Life is tumultuous, full of movement, and never still. Rather than pray for the waves to stop, we hold the hand of the One who walks on top of them.
    Part of growing up involves getting our feet wet and jumping into bigger and bigger puddles.

    • Thank you for reblogging this, Angie. God is constantly telling us to rest in Him, and we persist in doing things. For me, I found the best place to start was by asking Him, “What does it look like, resting in You? Will You show me how to do it?”

      Blessings on you and yours — Carolyn

  4. Such an excellent point. I hate that perspective of “God will discipline the heck out of you so be careful what you ask for in prayer.” Seems contradictory to the freedom Christ’s message speaks to us. We don’t need to be afraid. We already have victory through Christ! We just have to claim it!

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a blessed day.
    xoxo

    • I agree, Jennifer — we tend to follow a God that isn’t the real thing, the one that makes it so difficult to love Him. And then when we comment about this, we’re told — “It’s your fault, always.” Obviously, God is never wrong, but so many times our perceptions of who He is, are.

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