Are you waiting on God to answer a prayer right now?  
Are you in the middle of a situation that has you crying out to God? 

The other night I read and reread Psalm 77.  Then in Bible class today we covered Psalm 34.

These two Psalms put together teach us a valuable lesson, no matter what stage of life we are in.  Whether we are in distress, waiting for something to happen, or just needing to refocus, these Psalms guide us in how to focus our attention.

What the Psalms reminds us to do while we are waiting:

1. Shift your Focus

In Psalm 77, Asaph is distraught and distressed.  In the first several verses, he is overwhelmed with his situation.  He pleads and groans to the Lord.

“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Psalm 77:7-9

Then, he makes a very distinct shift.  It’s a shift that we should follow as well.  When we start to feel overwhelmed by our situation, instead of focusing on the trouble, focus on our great God, who is the same yesterday and today.

2. Remember the deeds of the Lord

This shift in focus from Asaph’s troubles to who the Lord is and all he has done, gets him out of the stinkin’ thinkin’ mode and brings him to a place of remembering how awesome God is.

“Your ways, O God, are holy.
What god is so great as our God?…
You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.”
Psalm 77:13 & 20

Another way Psalm 34:8 puts this is

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

I really like this imagery.  In taste testing, we are reminding ourselves of how delectable and nutritious the word of God is and how we need to run to him when we are “hungry.”

3. Worship & Glorify God

In remembering his great deeds, we start to become in awe of our Lord again.  We remember that he is the same God yesterday and today.  He is mighty and faithful to all he has created.  He will be faithful to us too.  Will we remain faithful to him as we patiently wait for him to provide? When we start to glorify God and worship him in the midst of our troubles, the joy that can only come through him starts to course through our veins. It continues that mental and spiritual shift from our problems to our amazing Lord who is greater than all our problems.

“My soul will boast in the Lord:
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.”
Psalm 34:2-3

When we start to glorify God and worship him in the midst of our troubles, the joy that can only come through him starts to course through our veins.

4. Seek the Lord / Cry out to Him

Sometimes, we cry out to the Lord and demand an answer, but are we ready to listen?  Seeking the Lord and being willing to accept his provision whatever that maybe is a necessary way we need to prepare our hearts.  Yes, our Lord will answer our prayers.  He may not do it exactly in the way we believe we need, but he will do it in his providential ways.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit”
Psalm 34:17-18

5.  Fear the LORD and lack nothing

In fearing the Lord, we will love him with all our heart, mind and soul and love our neighbors as ourselves. In this way, we will readily turn from our sinful ways.

“Fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.”
Psalm 34:9

As we walk through life’s challenges and wait on the Lord to answer our prayers, let’s not forget that he is God.  If we are struggling and don’t know what to do, let’s focus on this great list from Psalms to help get us through while we are waiting.

What has helped you keep your focus on the Lord while you are going through a difficult time or waiting on God to answer your prayer?

What to do while your waiting pinterest (1)

While I’m Waiting by John Waller 

Along with the Psalms above, this song has been playing in my heart as well.  Soak in the lyrics as you think about what the Psalms have taught us to do.

I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

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