‘You are my strength, I watch for you;’ Psalm 59.9
It is very easy to be quite passive in the way that we think about God answering our prayers. It is almost as if we have a list of our prayers and then we tick them off when God has done his bit! This phrase - ‘I watch for you’ - suggests two thoughts about the way we think of God answering our prayers.
The first is that it addresses the question of our expectation. Sometimes we might pray about something and then take the attitude that it is up to God whether or not he wants to answer it. To ‘watch’ for him implies an expectation that he is going to answer in some way. Psalm 5.3 makes a similar point: ‘…in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.’ Supposing God dealt with our intercessions according to how seriously we took them!
The second point about prayer suggested in this phrase is linked to this. Not only do we expect God to answer, but let’s look for early signs of this - those shoots appearing from the ground that encourage us that something else is going to follow. Too often we may well miss the wonderful things God does because we are not looking for them, and in missing them we can easily lose heart and become discouraged.
Bring your need to God now and then ‘watch’ in expectation for the first signs of his response.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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