What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer

What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer

Discover the profound essence of tarrying in prayer: what does it mean to tarry in prayer, and explore what it truly means to patiently wait on the Lord. Uncover spiritual depth and divine communion.

Expanding on the idea of tarrying in prayer, it is essential to recognize the role of expectation in this spiritual discipline. Tarrying is not passive waiting but an active expectancy, an anticipation of God’s response. The biblical concept of waiting on the Lord often carries the connotation of hopeful expectation, suggesting that believers are not only patiently enduring but eagerly awaiting a divine encounter.

The expectation of tarrying is rooted in the belief that God is actively involved in the lives of His followers and that He responds to earnest and persistent prayer. This expectation motivates individuals to persevere in their prayers with the confidence that their petitions are heard and will be answered according to God’s perfect will.


What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer?

Prayer is more than just a request list. It’s an invitation to intimacy, a communion with the Divine. At its best, prayer transcends words and becomes a space of profound connection, where we enter into the very presence of God. This is where “tarrying in prayer” takes center stage.

Tarrying, meaning to linger or delay, speaks of stepping beyond the routine. It’s about setting aside a time not just to speak but to truly be present with God. It’s a deliberate choice to slow down, quiet the mental chatter, and open our hearts fully to the possibility of experiencing God’s love and grace.

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The Bible offers numerous examples of tarrying in prayer:

  • David, the psalmist, speaks of “dwelling in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). This language reflects a longing for constant presence and a desire to tarry in God’s sanctuary.
  • Jesus himself often retreated to solitary places for prayer (Luke 5:16). These were not hurried exchanges, but extended periods of communion with his Father.
  • In Acts 2:42, the early believers are described as “devoted to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and prayer.” This highlights the role of prayer as a central element of community life, a space where fellowship with God and one another intertwine.

But what does tarrying in prayer look like in practice? It’s not a one-size-fits-all formula. However, some key ingredients include:

  • Openness and surrender: Release expectations and preconceived notions of what “should” happen. Leave space for God to surprise you.
  • Quietness and attentiveness: cultivate an inner stillness by silencing distractions and tuning in to your inner world.
  • Intentional focus: Choose a particular scripture verse, word, or even just a breath to anchor your attention and deepen your awareness.
  • Listening and waiting: Don’t rush to fill the silence. Be receptive to God’s voice, which may come in whispers, impressions, or a sense of peace.
  • Gratitude and praise: Express your thankfulness for God’s love and presence, even amidst challenges.

Tarrying in prayer is not always easy. It requires discipline, patience, and a willingness to sit with the discomfort of silence. But the rewards are profound. As we linger in God’s presence, we experience:

  • Deeper intimacy with God: Our relationship with God moves beyond duty and obligation to a place of genuine love and connection.
  • Transformation and healing: God’s presence can bring wholeness to our brokenness and heal wounds and anxieties.
  • Guidance and direction: In the stillness, we can discern God’s will for our lives and receive the strength to follow it.
  • Inner peace and joy: Praying cultivates a deep sense of peace and well-being that transcends circumstances.
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Tarrying is not just an isolated spiritual practice. It spills over into every aspect of our lives. When we cultivate intimacy with God through prayer, we are more filled with His love, more able to extend that love to others, and more equipped to face the challenges of the world.


Additional Bible references for further exploration:

Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”

Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”

Matthew 6:6 – “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father, who is in the secret place. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.”


Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


We have been able to unlock the secrets behind ‘What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer.’ Immerse yourself in the art of patient waiting, spiritual intimacy, and the transformative power of prayer. In essence, tarrying in prayer is a rich and multifaceted practice that intertwines theological depth with personal experience.

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It is a deliberate act of waiting, a commitment to spiritual intimacy, and a transformative process that shapes individuals both spiritually and psychologically. As believers engage in the discipline of tarrying, they embark on a journey of deepening their faith, communing with the divine, and experiencing the profound impact of persistent and patient prayer.

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