A black and white photo of a solitary figure sitting on a park bench, their head bowed in contemplation, surrounded by empty spaces and long shadows, symbolizing the patience and introspection required while waiting on God.

What To Do While Waiting On God

Waiting patiently on the Lord can be challenging, but it is a vital part of the Christian life. In this article, we will explore practical ways to wait on God effectively and grow in faith during seasons of waiting.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Stay in constant communication with God through prayer and Bible study, trust His timing, serve others, avoid idleness, and praise Him in the waiting.

The Importance of Waiting on God

God’s timing is perfect

As humans, we often want things to happen on our own timeline. However, God sees the full picture and knows the perfect timing for events to occur. Though waiting can be difficult, it allows God to put things in place so everything works together for our good.

Scripture reminds us that there is an appointed time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Rather than rushing ahead or trying to make things happen, we must patiently and trustingly wait on God’s providence.

Waiting strengthens faith and patience

Waiting on God enables our faith and patience to grow. As we learn to trust His timing and processes, our trust in His nature is strengthened. Our patience expands as we yield our preferences to what God desires.

Several Bible verses attest to the value of patience through times of waiting (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-4). Ultimately, our relationship with Christ deepens as we develop these spiritual fruit.

Examples of biblical figures who waited on God

Many prominent biblical figures had to patiently endure long waits for God’s promises. Abraham and Sarah waited around 25 years for the promised son through whom God would create a great nation (Genesis 18).

Joseph waited over 10 years between receiving his prophetic dreams and seeing them fulfilled when he became a ruler in Egypt (Genesis 37-41). David had to wait many years after his secret anointing before he finally became king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13).

In the New Testament, Simeon waited patiently his whole life to see the Messiah before witnessing baby Jesus (Luke 2:25). These examples remind us we are in good company when God calls us to season of waiting!

Biblical Figure What They Waited For Approximate Wait Time
Abraham and Sarah Birth of promised son Isaac 25 years
Joseph Fulfillment of dreams where he ruled Egypt Over 10 years
David Becoming king over Israel Many years
Simeon Seeing the Messiah Entire life

For further reading on the spiritual benefits of waiting, visit: https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/patience/benefits-of-waiting-on-the-lord.html

Stay in Constant Communication with God

Spend time reading and meditating on Scripture

One of the best ways to stay connected to God while waiting is through reading and meditating on His Word. Set aside time each day to read the Bible, taking time to reflect on verses that stand out to you. Highlight key passages, write them down, and refer back to them throughout your wait.

As you read Scripture, ask God to speak to you and reveal His truth. The Bible serves as an incredible source of encouragement, wisdom, and guidance for any season of life.

Here are some verses to reflect on while waiting on God:

  • “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” – Isaiah 30:18
  • “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:5
  • “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” – Psalm 37:7

Bring all your requests and worries to God in prayer

In seasons of waiting, it’s important to consistently bring your requests before God through prayer. Share your deepest desires, ask for guidance, and lay your anxious thoughts at His feet. Prayers for patience and trust are especially helpful when waiting on God’s timing and direction.

Consider starting a prayer journal to record your prayers and reflect on God’s faithfulness in hindsight.

Set aside focused time for prayer each day, whether it’s first thing in the morning, before bed, or during your lunch break. In addition to regular prayer times, you can also pray spontaneous, short prayers throughout the day. God invites us to bring everything to Him in prayer!

Fasting and focused prayer for guidance

Fasting is a spiritual discipline that can powerfully support seasons of waiting and seeking God’s will. By temporarily giving up food or other distractions, you create more time and mental space to focus your mind on God.

Pair fasting with focused prayer for the situation you’re waiting on God about. Even a partial fast for just a day or two can renew your spiritual focus.

Here are some helpful tips for fasting during a time of waiting on God:[1]

  • Start small – fast for one meal, one day, or one week instead of jumping into a prolonged fast.
  • Tell someone – share your fast with a friend or spouse for support and accountability.
  • Focus your mind – use the time you’d spend eating for Scripture reading and prayer instead.
  • Journal throughout your fast – record spiritual insights, prayers, emotions.
  • Break the fast well – eat lighter foods or smaller portions when resuming your normal diet.

Trust God’s Timing and Sovereignty

God sees the full picture

As humans, we only see a small part of the big picture that is life. We tend to focus on the here and now, while God sees the full scope of our existence – past, present, and future. Though we may not understand why certain things happen when they do, God knows how every piece fits together.

For example, a missed opportunity that we mourn may have actually spared us from something harmful down the road. When it feels like God is late or His timing does not make sense, trust that He can see what we cannot.

As Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Rest in the fact that God sees the full picture and His timing is perfect.

His plans are for our good

Even when we cannot trace God’s hand, we can always trust His heart. While waiting, it is easy to doubt His goodness and faithfulness. In those moments, remember that Scripture says God has plans to prosper us, not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). His delays are not denials.

God works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Though His plans may look different than ours, we can trust they are for our growth and ultimate blessing. God’s desire is to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).

The trials we face have a purpose – they develop godly qualities like patience, trust, and perseverance within us. Waiting on God prepares and shapes us for what He has in store.

Ways to grow in trust

  • Pray and ask God to increase your faith and trust in Him.
  • Study Scripture and be reminded of God’s faithfulness throughout history.
  • Thank God in the waiting and trust He is at work for your good.
  • Obey what you know to be true and let God guide your steps.
  • Seek godly counsel from mature believers for encouragement and wisdom.

The next time you are faced with unclear timing, remember that God sees everything perfectly. Though waiting can be hard, you can have confidence that His plans are for your good to give you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Surrender your impatience and frustration to God.

Let Him develop fruits like faith and peace within you in the waiting. You can trust His timing and sovereignty.

Avoid Idleness and Distractions

Idleness can lead to sin and doubt

As the old saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” When we have too much time on our hands with nothing constructive to do, it often leads us down sinful pathways and fills our minds with doubt about God’s plan for our lives (Prov. 16:27; 1 Tim. 5:13).

Research shows that idleness significantly increases the likelihood of destructive behaviors like substance abuse or pornography addiction (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198075/). To avoid falling into these traps, it is important to stay occupied with wholesome and meaningful activities.

Stay busy serving God and others

Rather than sitting around unproductively, our time waiting on God is better spent serving others and furthering His kingdom. As Jesus taught in the parable of the talents, God expects us to make good use of what He has given us (Matt. 25:14-30).

There are always opportunities right in front of us to share Christ’s love through simple acts of service. Prepare care packages for the homeless, volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate goods to charity, write cards to sick children in the hospital – the possibilities are endless.

Staying busy for the right reasons keeps us from idleness, strengthens our walk with God, and allows us to be a blessing rather than a stumbling block to those around us.

Limit distractions that take focus off God

It’s easy to fill free time with entertainment and diversions like television, video games, social media, YouTube, magazines, etc. However, while occasionally enjoying these things is fine, they should not dominate our time and attention.

Research conducted by Whole Life Insight indicates that the average American spends over 4 hours a day consuming digital media (https://wholelifeinsight.com/how-much-time-do-people-spend-on-their-digital-devices/). That time would clearly be better invested in God’s work!

We need to be wise with our time management and limit unnecessary distractions. A good rule of thumb is that if something regularly keeps you from meaningful prayer, Bible study and service, it may be time to cut back.

Praise God in the Waiting Season

Waiting can be difficult, but it is in these seasons that we have the opportunity to grow deeper in our faith and trust in God. As we wait on His timing and purposes, there are some impactful ways we can praise Him.

Thank Him for Blessings and Past Faithfulness

Start by showing gratitude for all God has already done (Philippians 4:6). Reflecting on His faithfulness in the past will build our trust that He remains faithful, even when we have yet to see the full fruition of His promises.

Thank Him for salvation, grace, family, provision, and the countless other blessings in your life.

Sing Worship Songs

Music moves our hearts in powerful ways. As the psalmist says, praise Him with singing (Psalm 147:1). Put on some worship music that focuses your mind on God’s character and lift your voice in adoration. Singing helps shift our perspective from the waiting to the One we are waiting on.

Some songs to try are “Way Maker” by Leeland and “Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin.

Recount God’s Promises

God makes many promises in Scripture to provide, protect, and be with His people. When discouraged in a season of waiting, recalling His assurances can instill fresh hope. Remind yourself of verses like Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” or Isaiah 40:31 – “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength.”

Ask the Holy Spirit to bring applicable promises to mind.

While waiting can be long and wearying, maintaining a heart posture of praise keeps our focus on God rather than the difficulty of waiting. We can live the words of Habakkuk who said, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:18).

As we praise God in the waiting seasons, He fills us with His peace and reminds us of His faithfulness through it all.


Waiting on the Lord requires faith and perseverance, but He promises it will be worthwhile. Staying rooted in Scripture, prayer, service, and praise keeps our focus on God and His flawless timing. He will renew our strength when we wait on Him.

Trusting in His unfailing love and sovereignty, we can walk through seasons of waiting with joyful hope and anticipation for what He has in store.

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