December 15, 2013

Expect God-through Prayer

On this 3rd week of Advent, we continue to look at how to Expect God to Act in our lives. God does act, even when we aren’t aware of it. Expecting God is becoming aware of the Holy in our lives again. It is rediscovering the “faith of a child” that simply waits with expectation for God to be present and act. Advent seems the perfect time to wait in expectation.

Expectant waiting is not just a passive thing. It’s not just sitting around waiting for God to show up. Think about Mary and Joseph as they waited in expectation for their Child to be born. Anyone who has ever been a parent or around an expectant couple knows they didn’t just sit around. They had to do things to get prepared. The cradle and the swaddling clothing had to be made. They had time to consider how their lives would change with the addition of a baby.
There are things we can do prepare ourselves to expect God. Active waiting might involve putting down the i-pad and going for a walk. Even if you don’t find God right away, you may improve your health! On the other hand, you may just catch a glimpse of the Holy. Hands Free Mama, another blog I catch periodically notes, “If you should happen to catch a glimpse of what really matters in life, regard it with care. Decorate it with flowers. Cover it with love. Hold it in the sunshine. Give it a little bit of your time and attention. And if the world tries to push you forward, listen to your heart instead. Because if you don’t make time for what really matters, no one else is going to do it.” (sorry I can't find the exact post for this quote.)

I think that what she says can carry over into our Expecting God in the day-to-day. When we do see or experience or notice God we should pause and regard God, care for the time, decorate it, perhaps, and certainly love and be loved by God. We should hold and give the Gift of God our time and attention so that we can hear that still small voice of God.
One way to do that is prayer. Not necessarily the rote prayers we may say regularly, but quiet time spent expecting and waiting for God. Joan Chittister comments, “Prayer is an attitude toward life that sees everything as ultimately sacred, everything as potentially life-changing, everything as revelatory of life’s meaning. It is our link between daily-ness and eternity.” (taken from a FB post 11/19/13)

Finding and keeping a prayer time can help to rediscover the anticipation of the child’s faith and the awareness of God’s presence. And prayer can be done while walking or while kneeling, while sitting on a bus or in the quiet of your room. God is delighted when we turn to him in prayer, which is of itself a form of faith and expectation. We pray because we expect God to be there. And when we do pray, we hear God say-I Love You.
Some might argue that prayer isn’t a very active way of Expecting God. On the other hand, prayer can be very intense and indeed active. Prayer in itself is waiting expectantly to hear God and to know God. Continuing to practice time with God will help you find that God is present in the day-to-day...maybe when and where you’d least expect to find God.

This prayer from another blog I follow encapsulates, for me, what we want when we wait and pray expectantly, esp. in Advent:
We're waiting for a revolution;
Waiting for the impossible.

We're waiting for change,
For the coming of the One.
We're waiting to be told, "Yes,"
To be included.

Go with hope that,
Whatever you are waiting for,
God will answer
The prayer of your heart. 
Will you take some time during the rest of this busy season to “catch a glimpse of what really matters in life [and] regard it with care”? Will I?

No comments:

Post a Comment