How to wait for the Lord

There’s one thing God asks us to do frequently as Christians and it’s waiting on Him. We could be waiting for Him to act, answer a prayer or mend a broken relationship. We need practical tools and tips on how to wait for the Lord and His perfect timing.

Alarm clock on top of pink notebook on a desk with stationery around it

What does waiting on God mean?

Are you currently in a season of waiting on God? Have you ever been in a situation where you pray, pray and pray some more for a situation to change yet it doesn’t? You ask God why and don’t get an answer?

It could be a disease that you need God’s healing. You could be waiting for restoration in your marriage. Maybe it’s friend or child who you desperately want for them to become a Christian but it’s not happening.

I’ve been there. For years I’ve longed for healing for a close relative.

So what does waiting on God mean?  It’s waiting expectantly not passively. When you wait on God, you wait with joy and hope. It’s praying to God and waiting for Him to answer in His time not your time.

Waiting on the Lord means learning to be patient while waiting for Him to act.

As mothers, we’re equipped to wait. Pregnancy teaches us to wait for our bundles of joy. Yes, it comes with pain, frustration, and tension but when we think of the baby at the end of the waiting we endure the pain.

Bible verses about waiting on the Lord

What does God say about waiting? These Bible verses about waiting patiently for God will help us understand why and how God wants us to wait.

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14

This Scripture encourages us to wait with faith, expecting those good things will happen to us in this life because of God’s love and grace. The Lord strengthens us spiritually as we wait for Him.

“Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.”

Psalm 33:20

We wait upon God because He alone helps and protects us from harm. In the waiting God is preparing us for better, He is making sure we are ready to handle the blessing that’s to come.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”

1 Peter 5:6-7

This Bible verse about waiting for the Lord assures us that waiting involves being humble. It’s letting go of control and our timelines of when things should happen and allowing God to have His way with us. Why? Because we know He cares for us deeply and loves us unconditionally.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in His word I do hope.”

Psalm 130:5

“My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
 He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.”

Psalm 62:5-6

When we wait on the Lord, we put our hope in His word. We hold on to His promises because we know He is faithful to fulfill them. Our expectation is on God not on man. We lean on Him as our rock as we wait upon Him to act.

“For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.”

Isaiah 64:4

How to wait for the Lord

So how do you wait for God’s timing? What are the behaviors and thinking patterns you need to have in this season? These are some encouraging tips on how to patiently wait upon the Lord.

1. Be thankful while you wait for God

I know this seems like the last thing you may feel like doing. But believe me, it helps. Having an attitude of gratitude is key while waiting on God.

I remember last year when we went through a phase where we had to wait 5 months for our personal belongings to arrive from the Middle East. We were relocating back home to Africa.

Our personal belongings were delayed due to lockdowns and restrictions of movement. We didn’t have what we needed to function and be comfortable- things like kids’ toys, TV, clothes, fridge, microwave just to mention a few.

But we were safely home surrounded by lots of family and love. And we learned to be grateful. For the true African hospitality that we felt- every house we visited someone gives us something to take home- vegetables, meat, fruits.

I was so grateful that we found an amazing school for our daughter and we lived in a great (though somewhat empty) house where our kids were happy to be outdoors playing after years of being stuck in apartments.

The move was frustrating but being grateful and noticing the good that happened helped.

What about you? What could you be grateful for?

If you’re ill, be grateful that you’re alive and get to experience life with your loved ones. Are you’re struggling with your spouse and praying for God to restore your marriage? Then be grateful for your husband and his good qualities.

Is your child resisting God and turning away from His word? You can still be grateful that they’re a blessing from God and praise them for their their gifts and talents.

Gratitude has such a snowball effect. If you sit down and start writing all the things that are good around you, what you still have, you’ll start to realize that God has given you so many blessings.

If God has already answered your prayers and you’re enjoying them now, He will surely answer your future prayers. This will help you patiently wait for the Lord and His timing.

2. Ask God for patience

When you pray, ask God to give you the patience you need to keep waiting for Him to answer your prayers. The Bible says God is the God of patience.

“Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,”

Romans 15:5 (NKJV)

Being patient is keeping a good attitude while in the wait. It’s not getting frustrated or annoyed that things are not happening when you want them to.

That is easier said than done. That’s why you need to ask God to help you be patient while you wait for Him to move and act in His time.

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. The more time you spend in God’s word and grow closer to Him, the more patient you’ll come.

3. Praise while you wait for the Lord

Did someone say praise and worship? Oh yes!  Nehemiah says “Do not sorrow for the joy of the Lord is our strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b)

There’s strength, encouragement, and courage that we get as we sing joyful praise songs to our God while waiting upon Him to answer our prayers.

The Psalms is also a great book to go to and be inspired by David’s honesty with God. There were times he was discouraged but He always looked up to God and put His hope and trust in Him. Psalms of strength will motivate you to praise God in the wait.

4. Seek the Lord in the wait

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

This Bible verse about waiting patiently for the Lord teaches us to seek God and draw near to Him when He is yet to answer our prayers. God is good to those who wait on Him because He knows that they trust in and depend on Him.

5. Serve others while you wait on the Lord

One of the most effective ways to wait patiently for God’s perfect timing is to serve and love others. This could be volunteering at an Old Peoples Home or orphanage. It could be helping out and serving in your church as an usher or in the children’s ministry.

 “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’’

Philippians 2:4

Looking to the interests of others helps us serve and love them better. It also makes us more thankful to God for what we have. Serving in God’s house and meeting others’ needs shows our trust in God’s faithfulness. God will remember our works and bless us.

6. Trust in God and His promises

Apostle Paul once prayed for God to remove a “thorn in his flesh” . These were the hardships and persecution he faced during his preaching. And he prayed about it.

“Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.“

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

What a powerful and encouraging verse. God’s supernatural grace is sufficient for us, especially in times of trouble.

He will strengthen and sustain you in hard times when you need to wait on Him. His power works the most when we rely on Him fully.

“ being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”

Philippians 1:6

Trust in God’s perfect timing because He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. He is your Creator and will be with you till the very end.

7. Remember that the waiting has a purpose

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.“

Romans 5:3-5

As we wait for the Lord, He is molding our character. He is perfecting us for His Glory.

When we continue to put our hope in God, we will not be disappointed. So, we wait on God, knowing that the wait is not aimless. It has a purpose.

8. Let go and Let God

Surrender the situation to God. Submit to Him. Pray for Him to help you let go and give it to Him. He is all-knowing and all-powerful and will act when the time is right.

God knows what’s best for His children. And sometimes we need to go through that temporary pain to reap the results He desires for us.

We do it for our children. My 7-year-old usually asks me for juice or sweets at night. I tell her to wait for the next day to have them during the day. It’s not the right time for her to eat sweets.

I’m not saying no, but I’m saying wait. She may get frustrated and throw tantrums but she will still wait. I’m her parent. I know what’s best for her.

And so, my friend, know and trust that Your heavenly Father also knows what’s best for you. Let go of your timing and let God be in control.

9. Re-focus your thoughts

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.“

Philippians 4:8

Don’t meditate on the unanswered prayer. Focus on what is true about God, pure lovely thoughts.

Remember that God is always faithful. He loves you unconditionally that’s why He sent His Son to die for you on the Cross. The Lord knows what’s best for you and your family.

Hold on to your identity in Christ. You’re not defined by the unanswered prayer. It’s not who you are. Rather, you are who God says you are.

When your mind dwells on these truths from the Bible, you develop a good attitude in the wait.

10. Remember who you’re waiting on

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts”

Isaiah 55:8-9

“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

2 Peter 3:8

God’s thoughts and ways are not similar to ours. He is the Father in Heaven and the Creator of the Heavens and Earth.

The Lord’s ways are not human because He is supernatural. So, while we wait, we remember that it is God who is in control and charge.

Waiting for the Lord will not leave you disappointed because this is His promise in Isaiah 40:31

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

Prayer for patience while waiting on God

Heavenly Father, while I’m in a season of waiting, help me to be patient. I know that the waiting has a purpose and I choose to trust You and hold on to Your promises through this season.

I’m grateful for the many blessings you’ve given me as Your child. May your grace be sufficient for me as I wait on You my Lord.

In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

How to patiently wait for God's timing

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