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?
Sometimes alone, sometimes with others. I like to pray with others to help keep me focused. I like to pray alone when I'm struggling with something personal, or so no one can make fun of me singing--sometimes I sing when I'm praying.
2. Do you enjoy the discipline of waiting, is it a time of anticipation or anxiety?
Mostly anxiety--I'm a control freak at heart. Waiting in uncertainty drives me nuts, or to be spiritual about it, I find it an important exercise in patience and faith. :)
3. Is there a time when you have waited upon God for a specific promise?
The occasionally brutal 3 years between college and seminary, when I was really trying to do what I wanted to do, and slowly discerning a call to ministry I didn't really want. I didn't want the promise God had, I wanted the one I wanted. Eventually (God was a lot more patient) I gave in, and I've been much happier ever since, but it was hard waiting.
4. Do you prefer stillness or action?
Action, almost always (control freak, remember?), but some of the most fruitful prayer times I have had have been in stillness and silence.
5. If ( and this is slightly tongue in cheek) you were promised one gift spiritual or otherwise what would you choose to recieve?
Not patience, patience comes through trials. I don't know...my brief stint in a Pentecostal church comes to mind, and it's waking up my inner snark. Perhaps grace? That is the meaning of my name (Anne), and I've never sensed that I was particularly graceful. Certainly not physically, anyway--I'm clumsy!