This week, let’s implement yet another new pattern of prayer – The T.R.I.P. Method. This seemed like an abbreviated pattern very similar to last week’s P.A.R.T.S. pattern. Like the P.R.A.I.S.E. method, I enjoyed starting my time with God thanking Him for what He has already done. It positioned my heart for the next section, which is perhaps what I appreciated most about this particular pattern of prayer – the section on “regrets.” That is a category that I can relate to! Unlike “repentance,” regrets encompasses mess-ups that don’t stem from intentionality, but burden me, keeping me stuck in those moments. I appreciated this new aspect of talking through the times during the day that I missed the mark. It was unburdening to approach the Lord with these burdens, gratefully dumping them at His feet and being able to move forward – both in prayer and with my day. I feel that beginning with those two prepared my heart to intercede, praying for His will more than my own. And then ending by praising Him for His answers, whatever they will be.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
I have intentionally seldom prayed for patience. Additionally, I have been known to chastise people who have voiced a prayer in which they asked God for patience on my behalf. (Why would I pray for something that I know is gained only through opportunities to practice the thing I am lacking?!)
Cultivating patience also involves waiting and I want immediate results (instant gratification). Thankfully, God gives us what we need, not merely what we think we want.
Over the past twenty five years, in the midst of
cleaning up spills – again
sleepness nights – again
answering what’s for dinner for the third time since lunch – again
calling poison control – again
waiting in the ER with an adventuresome (or accident-prone) child – again
teaching little ones how to read – again
teaching high school Algebra – again
reading through the same books aloud – again
training new chores – again
God has given me daily opportunities to develop the very thing I’d been intentionally avoiding. He developed patience in me stealthily over the long haul of raising the next generation.
Patience, it turns out, is worth the years of practice it takes to cultivate it.
PONDER: Which of the qualities listed in Colossians does God most desire to develop in you? List the opportunities He has granted you to do just that…and thank Him for them.
PRAY: Father, I thank You for faithfully providing me with opportunities to grow. I want to be like Jesus, yet I am so reluctant to learn in some areas of my life. Thank You for being patient with me and that Your work in my heart includes the areas in which I am most resistant. Please continue to bring about in me the good work that you have begun.