Feeling my temper boil over, I asked my kids for some space. My patience with them was growing increasingly thin. I needed a minute to take a breath before I could handle the situation at hand. As my breathing slowed, I pleaded with the Lord for help. I felt overwhelmed as I wrestled to find the trigger point to my impatience.
Why am I so frustrated today?
The longer I stood there and prayed, the more my anger, impatience, and discontent was revealed.
My pride led me to believe that I could be independent, self-sufficient, and fully capable to handle my life on my own.
My self-righteous entitlement led me into impatience and anger, as I believed that I deserved better.
My fear of inadequacy, failure, and uncertainty led me to be discontent with what had been placed before me.
One last breath and then I’ll go talk to them. I stood for another minute, defeated, as my struggle with patience at that moment had little to do with my children, and everything to do with the belief underneath my sin of impatience.
As R.C. Sproul so keenly pointed out in his book Does Prayer Change Things?:
Consider the example of Peter in Luke 22:39-62. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray, as was His custom, and told His disciples, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” The disciples fell asleep instead. The next thing Peter did was try to take on the Roman army with a sword; then he denied Christ. Peter did not pray, and as a result he fell into temptation. What is true of Peter is true of all of us: we fall in private before we ever fall in public.
We, like Peter, so easily fall into temptation publicly because we do not devote ourselves to prayer privately. Prayer is one of the most crucial weapons to fight against our impatience and unbelief. It is how we praise God for who He is, remind ourselves of what He’s done, confess and repent of sin, and present our requests to God.
Prayer, in conjunction with God’s Word, comes together to aid us in our need for patience. We need patience every day, in every situation. Therefore, may these three prayers for patience ground you in the Word, and point your gaze back to the glory of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Pray for a Greater Understanding of God’s Patience Toward You
God Almighty, Have mercy on me, a sinner (Luke 18:13). I know that my actions of impatience reveal sin and disbelief in my soul that I have not dealt with. Help me to see and understand who you are. You are a God who always exhibits patience and grace.
I know that you are not a God that is slow to fulfill your promises, but are patient towards me, not wishing that I perish, but that all people would reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Help me to understand the great depths of love and mercy that you have poured out on me because of your Son.
Forgive me for forgetting so quickly, the patience that you provide as I grow and mature as a disciple of Christ. Let me never take it for granted but let me treasure you all the days of my life. For your patience and kindness is meant to lead me to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Forgive me for the ways I have wrestled with road rage, barking at my family, rushing the store clerk, and being snappy with a coworker. These all boil down to my own impatience, selfishness, and lack of belief in your mercy on my life.
I no longer want to fall into the sin of impatience. I no longer want my soul to be rooted in the belief of selfishness, inadequacy, self-righteousness — that you and your mercy are not enough for me.
Help me to glorify you, as I submit my fears, inadequacies, pride, and pain at the foot of the cross. As I fail, help me to glorify you by owning up to my sin, and looking to the cross as I repent to you and those I’ve hurt. Help me to believe and speak like the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:12-17, as he said:
“…The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.” Amen.
Pray for Patience Amidst Suffering
Father, I cry out in anguish before you. I know that what I am feeling today is nothing in comparison to how you felt as your Son died on the cross. Jesus, forgive me for my impatience and lack of understanding in this situation.
You have experienced far more for me than I could ever imagine — as you were beaten, mocked, abandoned, and separated from the Father for my sins. Lord, that is unimaginable, so please help me to be mindful of the immense patience you portrayed for me in your suffering. Help me to be patient with others in their suffering, and patient as I wait for you to move in the midst of my own suffering (James 5:7-11).
The pain experienced through this trial feels as if it’s too much to bear. Help me to remember that your burden is easy, and your yoke is light (Matthew 11:28-30). I want to be strong and wait for you (Psalm 27:14). Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).
Help me to believe that your timing is perfect and that all things come together for my good and your glory (Romans 8:24-30). Help me to rejoice amidst suffering and find my gladness in you. I know that suffering produces perseverance and sanctifies my soul. Help me to focus on you and what you want me to learn (James 1:2-4).
If we have the Spirit dwelling in us, then we have access to the fruit of the Spirit. Let us remember to put on the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that you clothe us in (Galatians 5:22-23).
Help us to trust in your sovereign plan to be faithful in affliction, endure suffering, and rejoice even amongst the pain (Romans 12:12). I want to be faithful, despite my circumstances, to seek you and treasure you in all that I do and say. Amen.
Pray for Patience as You Love Others
Lord, I know that only you can love others perfectly. You are just, merciful, patient, sovereign, holy, and good. Yet, you call me to love others as you do. Forgive me when I fail and help me to stand rooted in your love and grace. I struggle to be patient with my family, my friends’ quirks, at the store, in traffic, and as I wait on you in trials.
However, I don’t want my impatience and snappy attitude to be a reflection of you to the watching world. Your love displayed for those around me looks like being patient despite my circumstances.
I want to love the Church as you have called all Christians to love each other. I want to set an example of what it is to be patient to those outside the Church. I want to reflect the patience and mercy that you have granted me.
I want my patient conduct to point people back to You. Grant me wisdom and strength to do this. Father, I want to exhibit this kind of patience to the watching world in order to point them to your grace and glory. Use me, O God, a humble sinner, to glorify you.
Help me to live out the new identity that you have granted me through your Son. Forgive me for being impatient with others. I know I am called to emulate you with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, and maintaining a spirit of unity (Colossians 2:12-13; Ephesians 4:1-3).
I am patient because you have first been patient with me. I can love because you have first loved me. I am gracious because you have been so gracious with me. Amen.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/fizkes
Stephanie Englehart is a Seattle native, church planter’s wife, mama, and lover of all things coffee, the great outdoors, and fine (easy to make) food. Stephanie is passionate about allowing God to use her honest thoughts and confessions to bring gospel application to life. You can read more of what she writes on the Ever Sing blog at stephaniemenglehart.com or follow her on Instagram: @stephaniemenglehart.