Updated: Apr 5
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying,
“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is,
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” "
- Matthew 27:46 (NKJV)
It's Wednesday and it's nearly 9PM and I'm just now getting this week's blog post written.
It's been quite the week. Can you relate? (I'm cheering for you.)
For as long as I can remember, I've used the term, "The Ninth Hour". I'm not sure if this is an 'ism' from my mother, a nod to 3:00pm the Biblical "ninth hour" when Jesus died (Matt 27:46), a reference to the traditional hour of prayer (Acts 3:1), or if it's just something I made up.
Nonetheless, it's something T. Banks says often.
The way I use this term in context is to mean "the last possible minute". Clearly— it makes more sense if used in that way to say "the eleventh hour" or "the twenty-third hour", however, since I'm of age to make my own decisions, I'm going to continue to use it in my own little context for my own meaning. I do what I want. ◡̈ (I digress.)
I was thinking about "the ninth hour" earlier today and how often, when I'm waiting on the Lord for wisdom or a decision I need to make, it seems to come at "the ninth hour". It's always at the very last minute that He shows me what to do or what steps I should take.
It's rarely when I'm ready. It's not when I want Him to swoop in with a rescue. It's usually when I'm at hour 8:59:59 and holding my breath and using my last bit of strength to hold on to the end of the rope.
Do you ever feel that way?
That got me thinking. Perhaps, then, this "ninth hour" truly is a reference to Jesus' death and the Biblical hour of prayer.
After all, for me, it's usually in the 'ninth hour' of my own circumstance where true surrender happens.
That's when He typically finds me in a death of some sort. Trying to kill a desire. Laying down a want or an entitled feeling. Crying out to Him with a desperate "Lord please help me" type of prayer.
It's the death hour and a prayer hour.
I think then and only then am I finally ready to step into what He has for me.
It is in that death-and-prayer hour when everything is stripped away. When I am at the end of myself and when I stop thinking about what only would satisfy my 'self'—that's when He is finally able to begin the work in me that He lovingly longs to do.
That's the ninth hour. That's where I want to be.
✨ How We Wait Today
Fellow Wait-er, are you at the ninth hour with a circumstance in your life? Are you facing a death, of sorts, where something in you needs to die off so that the true life of Jesus can grow in you? Are you in a 'prayer hour' seeking Him for what is next? This is a good place. You are not at the end of your rope. You are not at the end. You are at the place where He can use you and true life can begin.