“That is, the Lord God of hosts. The Lord is His memorable name. So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually” (Hosea 12:5-6).

If waiting on God is the essence of true Christianity, the maintenance of an attitude of entire dependence on Him must be continual. There may times of waiting for a particular answer, but the attitude and habit of the soul must remain unchangeable and uninterrupted. Waiting continually is a possibility, though many think our crowded lives make it impossible. They feel they cannot always be thinking of it. This is because they do not understand it is a matter of the heart – what the heart is full of, what occupies it, even when our thoughts are on other things. A father’s heart may be filled continually with intense love for a sick wife or child at home, even though pressing business requires all his thoughts. When the heart has learned how entirely powerless it is to keep itself or to produce any good, when it has learned how surely and absolutely God will keep it, when it has, in despair of itself, accepted God’s promise to do for it the impossible, it learns to rest in God and, in the midst of occupations and temptations, waits continually.

Do not limit God by your thoughts of what may be expected. Fix your eyes on this one truth: God, in his very nature as the giver of life, cannot do otherwise than work every moment in His children. Do not say, “If I wait continually, God will work continually.” Rather, turn it around and say, “God works continually; I may wait on Him continually.” Take time to catch the vision of God working continually, without a moment’s intermission. Then your waiting continually will come naturally. Full of trust and joy, the habit of the soul will be “On You, I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:5).

Adapted from Power in Prayer by A. Murray