Patient prayer — keep stirring the pot

James 5:7 “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.”

It seems that almost every day I am faced with a scenario that tests an important, but difficult, character quality! Patience is a virtue God expects from His children.

The Bible speaks about it often and identifies this quality as part of the fruit of the Spirit. Yet I am likely not alone when I find myself struggling to respond appropriately during times of waiting. This is especially true when it comes to prayer.

When you understand that God hears and answers prayer, it is often frustrating to wait for His answers.

There are many things I have been praying about for years, and sometimes I wonder why God has delayed answering. It is tempting to give up and move onto another request, one that may seem simpler or more attainable. Yet God often uses His delays to teach us patience and persistence.

The testing of our faith produces endurance and builds the character we must have to succeed. When we continue bringing our requests before the Lord He promises to answer in His way and in His timing.

I thought about my need for patience and the benefit of perseverance last Sunday morning. Our church held a breakfast and I volunteered to help cook. Upon arrival I was given the job of making scrambled eggs.

Normally when making this dish I am cooking for a few people so the mixture sets quickly. But when you are stirring a large skillet filled with enough for a crowd the process takes a lot longer.

I poured the scrambled eggs into the skillet and slowly stirred the mixture as I waited for the eggs to congeal. The minutes ticked by as I stirred, and stirred, and stirred some more, wondering if the liquid would ever become fit for eating before the crowds started to appear.

But all at once the mass began to come together. Within a very short time I had a whole batch of fluffy yellow eggs ready to be scraped into the chafing dish so I could start the tedious procedure over again.

Prayer is often like this process. We kneel before the Lord day after day bringing Him the same concerns and requests. We keep stirring the pot wondering if any change will ever occur.

But when we exhibit patience and endurance in our petitions God begins to move, and we realize that He was working all along even when we couldn’t see.

So if you have been praying for a long time about a certain situation or for a particular person and are starting to wonder if God is going to come through, don’t give up!

Keep kneeling before Him and stirring the pot in prayer. One day, and perhaps soon, you will reap a reward.

The effective prayer of a righteous person can accomplish much.

It just takes patience — and often a lot of pot stirring!

Sandra Sheridan is a Midwest wife and mother of five. She shares her letters to her children with our readers. Visit her at

Sandra Sheridan

Contributing columnist