If you are like me, you think of prayer as activity. We speak to God. We wrestle with God. He listens and answers. But prayer also involves waiting. “For you I wait all the day long” (Ps. 25:5). “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27:14). “Our soul waits for the Lord. He is our help and shield” (Ps 33:20).

I just spent two days in silent retreat. By “silence” I mean, I was alone. For me silence is a difficult. I forced myself to slow down enough to sit before God in quiet expectation, waiting for him to speak, waiting for him to initiate.

This was not natural. I am a busy man. Productivity is my calling card. However, “waiting” nourished my soul. Waiting reminds me that nothing ultimately depends upon me. Waiting says God is faithful. He will answer. My petitions do not fall on deaf ears. God has heard, and in his own good time, he will graciously speak. Waiting reminds me that God is the Master and I am the servant. It says, apart from him I can do nothing.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;” wrote the Psalmist. “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning more than watchman for the morning” (Ps. 130:5-6).

May all of us learn the discipline of “waiting.”