When it comes to prayer, we are called to believe and be patient. Why be patient? Any delay in a heartfelt prayer that springs from a need puts pressure on our faith. We question ourselves and more problematically, the Lord’s love and care for us.
We can find encouragement in the book of James. He begins; Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance (steadfast patience). And let (steadfast patience) have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James isn’t promoting suffering for its own sake, but that suffering can bring about a greater understanding of the goodness and greatness of the Lord.
Suffering is part of the human experience. We cannot get away from sin and evil and the consequences they have on our lives and the lives of those we love, and we pray, as we should, for protection and deliverance from that harm. But, when we are in the midst of trials of various kinds, neither our intellectual understanding of God nor the strength of our human will bring us comfort.
It is the Lord, himself, that is our comfort and it is our faith in his goodness and faithfulness that sees us through.
James encourages us to establish ourselves in the Lord and receive his gift of steadfast patience so that in troubling moments we will find his presence comforting, enveloping us in peace.