Patience and Perseverance in Prayer
I enjoy photographing nature. And because my husband and I love hiking together and discovering new nature parks in our beautiful Comox Valley, I get plenty of opportunities to capture flora and fauna through my camera lens. The Lord often speaks to His people through creation, and I’ve learned lessons about patience and persistence while taking pictures of it.
These same lessons are also applicable to my prayer life.
Romans 1: 20 NIV says:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Although God’s patience is clearly demonstrated within the intricacies He has pieced together in creation, patience isn’t something I was naturally born with. But God has certainly used many events in my life to teach me how to be long-suffering. My husband and I needed patience as we waded through over a decade of infertility. Then we needed it as we raised three children who were close in age (feast followed the famine of infertility in our family).
And now we’re needing it more than ever as we tread water in the raging river of parenting teenagers and young adults in a culture that mocks God and His Word like never before.
Photographing birds also requires patience and perseverance, though obviously the stakes aren’t as high as they are in parenthood. It’s not a big deal if I miss a great shot, but it’s a tragedy if I miss out on an opportunity to show grace to my kids. So I’ve rarely prayed about my picture taking except to ask that my art and writing be used to glorify God.
Nevertheless, I’ve experienced His still small voice many times concerning my nature loving hobby. He’s frequently whispered for me to stay in the moment and enjoy what I see without always feeling compelled to capture everything on my camera. He’s also nudged me to slow down and watch and wait for nature to offer me a gift or two.
God has blessed me with pictures when I’ve said yes to a walk with my nature loving son who likes to get out several times a week. This happened recently while we were walking along a local beach chatting about mutual acquaintances and the memories we have of them. As we walked, I noticed a Great Blue Heron wading in the shallows of low tide. It appeared to be fishing as it craned its long slender neck this way and that, while its stick-like legs followed its spear of a beak.
I’ve captured some wonderful shots of Herons holding onto fish that looked way too big for them to swallow, but this time I was hoping to get a shot of one taking off in flight. I’d tried many times before. But the problem with Herons is that they’re unpredictable, they don’t give you any warning when they’re about to fly away.
You just have to keep showing up and keep hoping you’ll eventually capture the coveted shot.
So we stopped walking and watched the bird for a moment. And then suddenly the yes I’d given my son to take him to the beach turned into a yes for me to see the Heron launch into flight just as I had my camera focused on it.
In that moment, I captured my best shot ever of a Great Blue Heron. All those times of showing up and hoping I’d get the shot birthed the picture I’d been dreaming of getting.
Praying is like that too. I keep showing up in my writing room each morning to read my bible, meditate on the verses I’ve been touched by, and kneel and pray beside the cot that’s covered with a handmade quilt. As with parenting and photography, I keep showing up for prayer time, so that one day I’ll capture a picture of answered petitions concerning others and myself.
Perseverance in photography pays off; the bible says that’s also true for prayer. In fact, Jesus instructed His disciples through the parable of the persistent widow to keep praying and not give up. And in Matthew 7:7-8 we’re encouraged to ask, seek, and knock because God’s ears, eyes, and heart are open to our requests. We can trust Him to say yes if He thinks our desire is a wise one. God’s so passionate about prayer that there’s even a two word verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:7 NIV that says:
My most exciting answers to prayer are for the ones I’ve written in my journal. Once I had a prayer for a relative be answered exactly as I’d scribbled it down. My cousin had asked me to pray for him. And when I did, I wrote in onto a list and added details to it that the Lord seemed to have prompted me to. Years later the repeated words I’d prayed were answered so miraculously that I knew it was the Lord who’d penned it in the first place. My cousin is in full-time Christian ministry, so I can see why God wanted those prayers prayed in that particular way.
Faithfully showing up, faithfully praying, and faithfully believing pleases God, because sometimes you just have to keep showing up and hoping until faith becomes reality.
And by the way, on one of my recent visits to the beach, I captured video footage of a Great Blue Heron catching and swallowing a fish.
Just keep showing up, friends; God’s pleased with our perseverance.
watching a heron
as his persistence pays off
I learn a lesson
Persistent Blessings ~ Wendy
I’ve also shared this post as a podcast on HopeStreamRadio here:
And if you’re curious to see an example of a Great Blue Heron’s patience and perseverance, here’s my YouTube post of one catching a morsel for dinner:
48 thoughts on “Patience and Perseverance in Prayer”
Gorgeous Wendy 🙁
Thank you, dear Morgan. 🙂
Amazign photography, Wendy, and your applications are always perfect.
Thank you, dear Linda. We have an amazing God. <3
wonderful shots! I have to admit that at the moment I just don’t have the patience and determination to photograph birds. But as it gets colder and they are hungry they seem to be less shy of the camera. And I need to relearn discipline, to sit and be still instead of fretting! Thanks for the lovely post!
It’s harder for me to be still at home in my own garden; the beach atmosphere casts its calming spell on me. I’m glad God created such soothing places. Thank you for the visit. <3
Beautiful thoughts to start my morning.
Thank you, Bill. Happy 10th anniversary on your recovery journey, dear friend.
I loved this just now. Well, I’d love it anytime but first thing in the morning is perfect. 🙂 Thank you. 🙂
Thank you, dear Laura. Morning is my favorite time of the day (once my coffee is in hand). 🙂
I’m chuckling because our power was out this morning and Dave drove all over trying to find a Starbucks open. It was a multi-city outage and I think he was going through withdrawals. 🙂
I would have resorted to making an instant coffee using tap water—says me the addicted to two-a-day; I’m blushing cause it’s true. 🙂
I think he would’ve too except we didn’t have any. I saw him hunting in the cabinets!
Specialty instant coffees in single serving packets make great stocking stuffers. 😉
Ah ha!! Thank you!
Great lesson on prayer, beautiful photos and a video to match. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
Thank you, Peter, for stopping by. And thank you for the view and follow on YouTube. It requires patience to watch it all the way through. 🙂
Oh yes I was laughing at myself for being so impatient as I was watching a lesson on patience!
Thanks for making me laugh. I almost gave up while filming him; and it would have been nice to see him catch something bigger. But it’s kinda gory when they do, as they have to stab the bigger ones first before swallowing. 🙁
In your video I especially loved the heron’s reflection following him as he fished!
Amen. Beautiful words and pictures, my friend. ❤
Thank you, dear Marisa. My tendency towards “tunnel vision” comes in handy when I’m birdwatching. 🙂
Such beautiful wisdom, photos and video. Honored to be able to visit your page.
Thank you for the visit, dear Barbara. I often forget I have a video function on my camera–but it’s fun to use when I spot wildlife.
You keep showing up and you pray unceasingly. Excellent photos. Beautiful words of inspiration.
Thank you, Richard. Your heron shots are always spectacular—proving you already have lots of patience, dear friend.
Oh, Wendy, there is a long story behind it, but herons are my vision of God. Thank you for this beautiful post today!
Thank you, dear Susan. It sounds like you have a story that should be included in a future memoir. Make sure you let me know if you’re going to write one. I love inspirational memoir.
Wow, what a great post and photos! Thank you for the blessing of this and your faithfulness! 🙂 <3
Thank you, dear Natalie. <3
My pleasure Wendy❣️😘
Thank you so much for encouraging us to be patient and persistent! Those are two tough P words! It is something I really need reminded about, as sometimes I give up and don’t realize I have. And somehow this reminds me of ” not growing weary” and to not despise small beginnings. God bless you , Wendy!
Dear Debbie, your comment is timely. This week I realized I had given up on some needs of my own; but during a morning reading time, the Lord invited me to ask His blessing on them. He wants us to share our heart with Him, to ask of Him, and then to walk in peace because we trust Him. Giving up isn’t trusting. I needed this reminder too, dear friend. <3
Keep being patient and persistent in all you do, Wendy. The blue heron photo is spectacular! 👍
Thank you, dear Tracy. I’m hooked on herons. 🙂
Patience & perseverance…my two biggest challenges. I’m like one of those little bush birds that can’t sit still, bouncing here and there. Thanks for the refocus and encouragement…I needed this today. I’m heading to my room to spend time with the Lord and pray. He fell off my radar today….
Dear Susan, I understand the “bouncing bush birds” all too well. When I sit in my reading chair, it’s a signal for my feathers to settle and rest in Him. It’s too easy for my feet and my mind to wander. I’m encouraged by the words in Matthew that God’s not desirous of long and lofty prayers; He desires our heart. He’s pleased to give us “our daily bread”. <3 Short visits with God are better than long periods without Him.
Wendy, I so agree with that! My visits seem to be on the short end. But I’d rather that then even try to live life without Him. I’ve done that and don’t ever want to go there again.
Yes, short visits trump absence.
You caught such beautiful moments on your camera, Wendy! And it was a wonderful message you shared about staying the present moment to do so <3 Happy weekend, sweet friend
Thank you, dear Christy. Beautiful blessings on your weekend too. And thanks for the share on Twitter. <3
Wonderful message and stunning pictures!
Thank you, dear Theresa. I think, as parents, we pray at the kitchen sink more than anywhere else. <3
Thanks, Wendy, for the beautiful lesson on patience in life and patience in our prayer lives. I enjoyed your amazing photos of birds and blue herons. What a lovely spot for you to be. Blessings.
Thank you, dear Sharon. Birds and flowers are my favorite subjects to photograph (besides family members). 🙂
Today, I truly needed to read this. Thank you!
Thank you for letting me know. Blessings as you choose to trust God to open and close doors according to His loving will for you.