Worrying about the future or ruminating on the past creates anxiety, and yet when we sit down to meditate or pray, often that’s where our minds go. But we can actually practice being patient. And the author of Romans shows us one way to do this:
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us through wordless groans. And God, who searches our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:25-27)
None of us have gone through this before. That’s what makes this time so unique. It’s not personal, it's communal not-knowing. So as Romans says, “we do not know what to pray for” BUT the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. All we have to do is show up in our weakness. So for the challenge this week, just simply show up to the present moment with the Holy Spirit. There need not be any words, instead allow for “wordless groans.” You can think of these “wordless groans” as the moment we notice we’re drawn into worrying about the future; we can gently return to focus on the Holy Spirit and the present moment. You may want to choose a word to anchor you to this presence - perhaps “Love” or “Peace” or whatever word you wish.
As a practice of patience, try doing this for five minutes, and then the next day try for six minutes. Slowly increase your time in prayer and you will find that your capacity to be patient will increase with your capacity to sit in this patient waiting.