This is the third Sunday of Advent. Advent means “Coming”. There is usually anticipation, excitement, and tension all mixed together while we wait for that which is expected. Our prayer this week focuses on the Advent practice of waiting.
The season of Advent gives us the opportunity to practice something that is hard for most of, if not all of, us to do: wait. Waiting is hard. Yet, Advent reminds us that God is present and active even when it feels like nothing is happening. We are invited to live in the tension of what is and what will be.
So during Advent, even as we wait for the coming of Jesus, I pray for those of us who cry with the Psalmist, “How long, O Lord?” May our waiting not diminish us but actually enlarge our soul. May we come to value waiting as unexpected friend. May our waiting be open-ended and filled with watchfulness, patience, and anticipation.
Lord, for those of us who see waiting as simply a place to leave, may we come to experience it as a place to rest and surprisingly find in our waiting that there is an astonishing amount of life in this place. Instead of just “getting on with life” may we discover so much richness in moving into the tension of waiting.
Waiting can challenge us to our very core. I pray, Jesus, or those who feel panicky and are tempted “to make something happen” or “help God along,” may we be open to being patient and surrendered instead of being impatient and demanding.
In our waiting may we be open to hope.
For those of us who have grown weary in our waiting, may you assure us there is more going on than what we see. Give us the confidence that something is happening here for us and we do not want to miss it.
Jesus, for those of us who have no words, consider our sighings.
For those who begin to doubt your love, may we experience there really is a peace that comes from trusting in your goodness.
I pray for those of us who are waiting for healing, I pray we learn to trust that our bodies know what it needs and how to heal itself. May we also learn to trust you, Jesus, that you know what we need and how to heal us.
For those waiting for their loved ones to experience the reality and fullness of your love, may our waiting give way to expectation, hope, and faith.
Advent honors this place of waiting knowing that what is happening in us is worth waiting for.