Part of the Ascension Day Scripture from Acts 1 contains this promise from Jesus;
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Then he was taken from their sight into the clouds, two angels appeared and instructed the probably bewildered disciples to go back to Jerusalem, where they began to wait and to pray for the gift Jesus had promised.
Prayer is a joy to some of us, and a chore to others, waiting likewise can be filled with anticipation or anxiety....
So how do you wait and pray?
1. How do you pray best, alone or with others?
Well, maybe both. I generally have a sort of running conversation with God (which might be irritating, now that I think about it--but here's hoping not!) but I also find that praying with others helps me focus and also keeps me accountable for listening, not just talking.
2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?
In the words of Inigo Montoya: "I hate waiting."
3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?
I'm not sure....I know I have waited and prayed for things and sometimes they have happened and sometimes they have not. The perfect call to a church: got it! Mom's cancer to be healed and her to live a long life: not got it. As others have said--sometimes I think I'm waiting on what I want the promise to be, not on the actual promise of God's faithfulness.
4. Do you prefer stillness or action?
Action, of course. But I'm working on stillness! This is the general direction of my sermon for this week, actually: that many of us so prefer action to stillness, doing to praying, that we might be in danger of rushing past God and doing our own thing rather than pursuing God's vision. It's important to wait for the Spirit, to discern our calling, before just doing what we want to do. But on the other hand, when we have received the calling, we have to stop staring and the sky and get out there and do something already!
5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to recieve?
hmm.....this is kind of hard. Spiritual gifts....probably wisdom. Other gifts...enough money to pay my taxes. ;-)