Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
A prayer to be a patient person
Faithful Father, I get so caught up in the busyness of life that I forget that my needs and desires are not the same as everyone else’s. When I’m running late, I want to yell at the drivers in front of me for not moving quickly enough. The slow grocery store bagger receives my glare when she doesn’t work at the same speed which I expect. Or when a friend doesn’t respond to my text as prompt as I need, I get frustrated. I’ve come to realize, LORD, through your holy Word that my impatience is an outgrowth of my lack of humility. Your admonishment to love one another needs to be on my lips when I feel that frustration and anger well up inside me. LORD, I know there is nothing more important to you than having your children express compassion and love for each other. Rest your loving hand on my shoulder as a reminder for when I forget this. Quell my impatient heart and mind and replace it with grace. In your Son’s name I pray, Amen.
When my children were younger, I found myself praying daily for patience. My youngest had the unique ability to press all my “hot buttons” at one time. But patience seemed to allude me. I heard a pastor during this time give the advice to stop beating our heads against the wall if something we prayed for wasn’t manifesting and to pray for something else. It made me realize that maybe God wasn’t answering my prayers because He had other work still to do in me.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve finally come to realize, through God’s nudging and conviction, that I first needed to figure out why I was always so impatient. And as the verse in Ephesians today tells us we need to be “completely humble and gentle.” It was a hard pill to swallow when I pulled back the curtain to see my inner Wizard of Oz working away trying to control everything. And when people aren’t acting as I want them to, I become angry and impatient.
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. Proverbs 14:29
Great understanding. Understanding of our why’s – not just because we obviously have somewhere much more important to be than everyone else – but our “why” of why we think that. Why do we think our time and our talent or even treasure is so much higher on the scale of importance that we need to tap our feet in obvious disgust? Or we need to blare our horns and use our fingers in un-godly ways. If we are late, who’s fault really is it? If we are up against a deadline, who needs to truly take responsibility for that situation?
God’s Word is great at convicting, correcting and revealing our “why’s.” The next time you find that old foe called “impatience” welling up inside you stop and dig deeper. Pull back the curtain on your wizard and ask God to show you what’s causing so much distress. He will show you. And then He will test you, over and over.
If we all can learn, through a renewed humbleness, to be patient and bearing with one another in love just think how much kinder this world will feel. I’m asking God to start with me.
If you want this too, add the prayer to your daily prayer list and watch and see how God works in your life!