Oh Lord, please be patient with me.
by Bruce Okkema
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

If we had to compartmentalize our lives, it would be very difficult. It would be nearly impossible to separate joy, pain, suffering, love, work, study, our gifts, our relationships and so on. All of this makes us very complex, multi-faceted images of our creator. We have many of his attributes, yet none of them stands completely on its own. As each of them become prominent, sometimes we shine brightly and sometimes we don't.

Our prayer life is like that too and can be very complicated. We are not always clearly tuned in to God and we don't always pray the way we should. So when we are in tune, we need to ask God to be patient with us for those times when we are not.

Prayer is a lot like love, and with respect to our relationship with God, it stems from love. It seems fitting to think of it in view of 1 Corinthians 13. With some poetic leniency, a beautiful picture of how prayer can be results if you substitute the word “prayer” for the word “love” in its verses.

Prayer is patient, prayer is kind, prayer is not jealous, prayer does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I think if we pray with this attitude, even when we are not quite in tune, God will have patience with us and listen to our hearts. He will take our inadequate words and transform them into a sound sweet and pleasing to his ears.

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