Spiritual Practice

Constructive Waiting

Emily Dunham

You were up late last night cramming for a big test. You oversleep and are ten minutes late leaving the house. As you drive to school, you manage to hit every red light along the way. As you anxiously wait in traffic, you start to get angry and begin to scream at the cars in front of you. By the time you make it to school, you’re late for class; and since you’re still feeling rushed, you don’t do well on the test. Waiting can be a nightmare, can’t it?


Always be joyful and never stop praying. Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (CEV)

To calm yourself down when you have to wait, say a quick prayer. The Bible says, “Never stop praying.” What better time to pray than when you’re waiting? When you’re stopped in traffic, use the time to talk to God: “God, help me to stay calm even though I’m irritated.” When you wait in a long line at the store, look around and find someone who needs a prayer: pray for an impatient mother, a tired sales clerk, a crying child. By using the time constructively, instead of complaining, you’ll be amazed at how much better times passes. And who knows? Next time, you might do better on that test!


TRY IT OUT: The next time you’re waiting, say a quick prayer.

—from devozine (November/December 2000). Copyright © 2000 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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