In prayer, patience is crucial.

Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash

Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Apple Podcasts


Subscribe to “The Examen” for free on Google Play

Join our Patreon Community

Do you ever find it hard to pray? Sometimes it can seem like nothing is happening or that no one is listening.

And yet there is still an invitation there from God to remain faithful and to keep praying. God of course has made a commitment to you, and with every breath you take, God fulfills that commitment. How does God do this? Basically, by giving you life, by providing you with friends and family to help you flourish, and also by encountering you in prayer.

In turn, your commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.

That fidelity is the reason that things are able to happen in prayer. If you don’t show up to prayer, then you can be assured that nothing is going to happen. It’s something like being a birdwatcher. The birds are always there but sometimes they’re hard to see. The good birdwatcher knows that he or she has to show up, be patient, and sometimes use those binoculars to see what’s going on.

Patience and careful attention has a payoff in both birdwatching and prayer. Witnessing a bluebird flit across the sky after hours of waiting will fill your soul. And the same will happen when you are are consoled by God’s presence during prayer. So, be faithful and be patient—especially during those quiet periods.

[Don’t miss any of the latest writings, podcasts and videos from Father Martin. Sign up for his newsletter.]

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Michael Bindner
3 weeks 3 days ago

Never pray for patience unless you like to wait.

More: Prayer

The latest from america

From a unity deeper than citizenship, that of baptism, we implore our fellow Christians: Join us in denouncing this violence, and help us understand what distance is left between that nationalism and yours.
David AlbertsonSeptember 19, 2019
Pope Francis poses for a photo on Sept. 18 with members of a U.S. delegation that traveled to Rome to present the results of the Fifth National Encuentro to the pope and top Vatican officials.
Some 40 percent of the U.S. Catholic community has a Hispanic background and that “more than 50 percent of the Catholics in the United States under the age of 18 are Hispanic.”
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 19, 2019
It is not about the individual as much as the movement that gave Donald Trump power. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Holly Taylor Coolman writes that her pro-life views, empathy for some Republican voters and unease with polarization has complicated her early and consistent opposition to Donald Trump.
Holly Taylor CoolmanSeptember 19, 2019
Non-scale spiritual victories come when we see ourselves clearly and holistically, when we pray without prodding because God is real and someone to talk to.
Simcha FisherSeptember 19, 2019