The Waiting Room Prayer

The hospital waiting room. Few things can so quickly strip us of our illusions as waiting in those iconic surroundings—especially when the waiting involves a woman’s mammogram.

Yet, in these moments and surroundings that have the potential to cause stress and uncertainty, if we can remember to follow the example of David in Psalm 131 to calm and quiet our soul, the grace of God often does its most astonishing work, doesn’t it?

This was the case as I recently sat in such a waiting room, hoping to redeem the time by reading several pages in Elisabeth Elliot’s biography of her husband, Jim Elliot; however, the one page on which I began never got turned—simply because I couldn’t get past the prayer from Mr. Elliot’s journal that was recorded on that page.

May his humble, beautiful prayer impact you as profoundly as it did me:

Mammogram Waiting Room Jim Elliot Quote

“Shadow of the Almighty: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot” ~ by Elisabeth Elliot (page 245)

“Bring struggle when I need it; take away ease at Your pleasure.”

What a prayer to pray in a waiting room—or anywhere, for that matter. May God grow me—and maybe you, too?—enough to be able to pray this prayer and mean it…to trust Him to know that the “common, ordinary, and regular—rightly taken—will suffice to feed and satisfy the soul.”

May it be so.

     Teach me, Lord Jesus, to live simply and love purely, like a child, and to know that You are unchanged in Your attitudes and actions toward me. Give me not to be hungering for the ‘strange, rare, and peculiar’ when the common, ordinary, and regular—rightly taken—will suffice to feed and satisfy the soul. Bring struggle when I need it; take away ease at Your pleasure.    ~ from Jim Elliot’s Prayer Journal

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