Sally from RevGalBlogPals writes Part of the Ascension Day Scripture from Acts 11 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?
I like to pray together with others, but I pray most deeply by myself. I have been intentionally growing into more of a contemplative prayer over the last year or so.
2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?
I don't really enjoy waiting as a rule, but the waiting that is a part of prayer is becoming more comfortable. It's more a time of anticipation than anxiety.
3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?
Yes, and I can remember it as if it were yesterday. The first parish and community in which I served had a culture was clearly shaped by marriage - that is to say, you reached maturity and respectability in the community when you were married. It was a difficult place to be a single female pastor.
So I prayed long and hard for a life partner. Not just to fit into the community, but also because I believed that God had promised that I would have one...someday. Sometimes I cried as I prayed. I just couldn't believe that I would have to carry out this ministry entrusted to me without someone to share my life. Though I knew God was close, I needed someone with skin on!
I met the man who would become my husband as I began the process of accepting a new call. And because he was a member of the congregation, my initial response was "Oh no, God, this isn't supposed to happen this way!" Finally an insightful colleague and mentor told me to stop questioning how God seemed to be answering my prayer. We were married late the next year, and have shared 18 precious years together.
4. Do you prefer stillness or action?
Because there is so much noise and activity in my life, I crave stillness.
5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to receive?
I would welcome the gift of hospitality. I feel as though this is something I have to work at, and I wish instead that it just flowed from me.