…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:3-4 NKJV
Throughout my Christian life, people have warned me not to pray for patience. Why wouldn’t you want to possess the fruit of the Spirit where it is often translated “longsuffering” (Gal. 5:22)? Has anyone been spared hardship because they did not pray for patience? Wouldn’t we handle the trial better with patience?
The Greek word translated “patience” actually means “long-tempered”. That is quite different from the short tempers we often exhibit. Therefore, patience would make us more like God who is slow to anger.
Job is Scripture’s poster child for patience. We often think of him when we are waiting. Waiting for the healing. Waiting for the breakthrough. Waiting, as Job patiently did for the trial to be over.
James teaches us not only to be patient during trials, but he admonishes us to wait patiently for the second coming of Christ. We grow weary when we see the condition of our fallen world. Like the early church, we may have to patiently endure persecution before the Lord’s return.
We must wait on God, while praying patiently. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Ps. 37:7a NKJV). How do we accomplish that? When we rest in the Lord, we are at peace, trusting Him, without any activity of our own. Trusting God means we also trust His timing. Waiting patiently indicates a waiting period without frustrations. Does our waiting time resemble rest, or are we wrestling with annoyance and anxiety?
The answer to that question will determine whether we need to pray for patience. Friend, if God has shown you your need for patience today, realize I am joining you in prayer. I need patience. I must pray for patience so peace will fill my life and love will fill my heart.
Read James 5:7-11. Where do you need patience today? Don’t be afraid to pray for it.
Lord God, I understand You are in control of my life, including the timing of events. I lack patience, and I need it. I need patience in dealing with people, and I need it while I wait. Allow me to rest in You as I wait patiently. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.