Last night, I gathered with a wonderful group of friends to discuss the book, The Shack (which I think we all agreed we will read again!). One of the main messages that we received from reading the book was the importance of waiting expectantly for God. Then this morning, over at REVGALBLOGPALS, the Friday Five questions deal with waiting. So here are their questions and my answers and I invite you to share your answers with me.
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? While I enjoy times of corporate prayer, I pray best alone. I guess this is the introvert in me, but I pray best in the quiet of my sun room or even the comfort of my bed. I actually do a lot of praying while driving (a good thing given how much time it seems I spend on the road—please avoid all jokes here ;-D ) My prayer life tends to suffer when I can’t or don’t find “alone” time.
2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety? I am ashamed to admit it, but I’m not good at the discipline of waiting when I don’t know when the waiting will end. In other words, pregnancy was fine because I had an approximate end date. Right now I am anticipating my move to New Life because I know when it is going to happen but even that is tinged with a bit of anxiety about what lies ahead. Actually, come to think about it so did pregnancy . . . But I am awful about those times of waiting where you don’t know when or HOW they will end. God has been at work with me for years on this issue and while I’m better about trusting during the waiting time, I’m still not terribly good at it. A book that was very helpful to me during one of those waiting times was Sue Monk Kidd’s “When the Heart Waits” and Renita Weem’s (my Hebrew Bible professor at Vandy) “Listening for God”
3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?
Yes. Many times and God has always been faithful even when God answered in a different way than I expected or had a different timeline than I did! Actually, I guess that is the real promise anyway that not matter what God will be with us and is working on our behalf. I’m not sure God promised anything more or less than that.
4. Do you prefer stillness or action? Oh, I’m a Martha—give me action. I think that is why I love spiritual disciplines, such as prayer stations and labrynths. They allow me to reflect silently while actively doing something.
5. If (and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to receive? PATIENCE! (NOW!)