Although God fills all of time and space — He fills our future and our past — we don’t experience Him except in the present. He is only in the moment. That can be a problem for us if our minds are either looking to the future in anticipation or apprehension, or looking to our past with regret.
While we are on this earth, we can only experience God by being fully present in the moment and inviting Him into that space.
Our busy lives with constant input from media make it a challenge to slow down and reflect. There is always something to occupy our minds about what there is to do or what we have done. Practicing being present in the moment with God, though, is something that we want to cultivate in order to experience His presence in prayer.
The psalmist David knew something about this and called it “waiting on God.” The Hebrew word for “wait” means look for, long for, expect, hope in or linger. Interestingly, the first time this word is used in the Scriptures is Genesis 1:9 in describing how the waters under the heaven were gathered together into one place. Sometimes our thoughts and feelings are like uncontrolled water, spilling out everywhere with no focus or clear path. To wait on God means to focus on Him in the moment, to open our heart to Him, and allow Him to direct our thoughts, giving us peace and guidance as we experience His closeness and comfort.
What do you do when you are fearful and anxious, or when you are confused and need help or direction? What about when you are discouraged? In all of these instances, David said that he waited on God until He experienced God’s presence and his soul found rest.
Let’s pray from some of David’s experiences of waiting on God: Teach me to wait patiently for You Lord; so I can know that You will come through for me. I need to know that You will stoop down to lift me out of danger, from the pit that I’m in and the mess I have fallen into. I want to experience You lifting me into a firm, secure place and steadying me while I walk upon Your path. Teach me to be still before You, Lord and wait patiently for You. I want to experience Your presence to such an extent that I am not fearful or anxious about the evil I see in this world. I want to connect with You all day long so You can make known Your ways to me. Teach me your paths. You are the God of my salvation. Amen. (Psalm 40:1-3; Psalm 37:7; Psalm 25:4-5)