The Act of Waiting (Acts 1:12-14)

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” (Acts 1:14, AV)

Often in the Christian life, we find ourselves in a time of waiting. I wrote in an earlier devotion regarding how much we dislike waiting. I knew a person who was between ministries for an extended time. It was an uncomfortable place for him. He was part of a group of local ministers who met together once a month for prayer. As we gathered, we shared our burdens with one another. He, for over a year, shared that he was still seeking direction from the Lord. When I asked Him what he was doing about it, he only had one answer, “Prayer!”

You will remember that Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from on high. As far as we know, He did not tell them specifically what to do while they were waiting. Yet, it seems they had been with Jesus long enough to instinctively know that they needed to pray. Waiting on God involves much prayer. Perhaps this is the ingredient that is missing in the church today. We do not know how to wait, because we do not know how to pray. Or, might I better say, we do not take time to pray.

Waiting on God in prayer is a vital discipline that unfortunately has been forgotten by many Christians and churches. Often when we do not know what to do with our time, we fill it with all kinds of superfluous activities, time wasters. Thus, we basically accomplish nothing.

One of the other things we do when waiting is to work in our own strength and with our own ingenuity to fix our problems. We forget the work of God in the various issues of life. Thus, we expend much energy and can still get very little accomplished.

Consider the early church’s example. Perhaps they had a great advantage over us because the Lord specifically told them to wait until the Holy Spirit came upon them. Yet, the Scriptures teach us to do the same thing. We are to pray and trust God to move in mighty ways. This demands prayer and much prayer.

Unfortunately, the human tendency is to get the cart before the horse. Yes, we are supposed to do something, but we cannot do it on our own. In fact, we will not even know what to do until we are endowed with wisdom from on high. This also requires prayer.

I read a book once titled, “Why Revival Tarries,” by Leonard Ravenhill. I was naïve and was looking for some practical things we could do to start a revival. I was disappointed when the first chapters of the book focused mainly on prayer. Then it hit me. We cannot bring revival. It must be sent by God. Thus, the most important thing we can do is pray and get other believers to pray also.

You may be waiting for something in your life today. You may be looking for wisdom. You may have a problem that you need solved. What you really need to do is wait on God in prayer.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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