“When he had finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.” “And the Lord went his way, when he had finished speaking to Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.” Genesis 17:22;18:33
I love these verses, and find them to move my heart every the I read them. In chapter 17, God has given a specific promise to 99-year old Abraham that marvel of marvels, after a 13-year silence since His last recorded dealings with him, his barren wife would bear a child in the next year. Abraham laughs, questions, and God reminds him of His covenant, and leaves. In chapter 18, the LORD has appeared again, and Abraham pleads for His mercy and sparing of his nephew Lot when He announces His impending judgment on Sodom. They go back and forth as Abraham intercedes, God patient with every request; then after the ‘but once again’ request and a sure promise to spare the city if five righteous are found there, the LORD departs. Both times, it is God Who finishes the conversation with a promise, and then leaves.
How often am I the one to finish with God, hurried off by my urgent agenda, my restlessness, my next-thing appointment or want-to? And in doing so, on what am I missing out? If I abort prayer before God is finished, what promises, reassurance, loving reminders, peace, am I leaving behind? Do I find myself setting out on my day still unsettled, confused, uncertain for direction, irritated or anxious or hopeless? Might the Lord have been waiting to dispense His fresh grace, His new perspective, His supernatural insight and provision until I took a breath from my chattering and lists and telling Him what I think “we” should do? What keeps me from managing my time to make prayer a priority? Why am I not willing to linger until He has had the last word and finished with me? Is my compulsion more important than His clarity? O, what treasures we never appropriate when we scurry away from the One Who confides in us! (John 15:15)
My God, You delight to hear our prayers and answer them; You reveal secrets to Your own. Please help me do what it takes to guard my time, and teach me patience in prayer, to desire and be willing to wait until You have finished with me. (Psalm 4:1; 6:9; Amos 3:7)