>As we are in this first week of Advent, I thought it would be fitting to share the prayer points from yesterday’s early morning prayer meeting. We’ve decided to emphasize a different component of Advent each week leading up to Christmas. This week’s emphasis is WAITING. 

There are actually two types of waiting that I’ve experienced in my life – active waiting and passive waiting. Passive waiting is the kind of waiting that is often fatalistic, resigning oneself to simply going wherever the ‘fates’ lead us. It’s passive in the sense that we just sit back and wait for the next chapter, season, fad, or whatever. Passive waiting almost always gets you into trouble. For example, how many of us have found ourselves in spiritual, emotional, mental, or even moral ruts when we are in a passive waiting period. We fall into sin. We get lazy. We lose focus, and next thing we know we take several detours before finally coming out of it.

Active waiting is a type of waiting that involves preparation and anticipation. It is the kind of waiting in which the person understands and believes that his actions while waiting actually have some part to play in bringing about the thing being waited for. For example, a bachelor actively waiting for the Lord to provide a spouse might spend time working on his character, growing in godliness, being missional, developing a vision for life, etc. This is different from a bachelor who wants so desperately to be married that he will hit all the single scenes and meat markets that he can. Such a plan really isn’t waiting at all. 

As we wait for the return of the Lord Jesus, we can passively or actively wait. I’ll let 2 Peter 3:10-13 speak for itself, “10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.[a]
 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b] That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”

Peter calls us to an active waiting where our character and lives should reflect our waiting, but also to speed its coming. I hope you’ll join me in praying to that end this first week of Advent.

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• As we meditate on the coming of Jesus, bless God this morning for the hope of His return. Praise Him for His active presence in our lives and in our world. Worship Him this morning for His faithfulness, that we are not waiting in vain!

• What is an area of your personal life that you are waiting for God to move in? Pray that God would give you steadfastness, patience, faith, and courage to wait on Him. Pray for breakthrough and God to work even as we wait.

• What is an area of our church life that you are waiting for God to move in? Pray that God would move. Pray for humility, patience, faith, and endurance to wait on Him. Pray specifically for our search for a new children’s ministry director – pray for patience and discernment as we wait on God to provide.
• What is an area in our world that you are longing for God to move in? Pray that God would mobilize the church to ‘speed his coming’. Pray for God’s light to shine into dark and unreached places. Pray that God’s people would continue to endure as they wait for God’s vindication and justice.
• Pray that God would open your eyes to the areas where He wants you to ‘speed his coming’. Pray for openness and boldness to go wherever He leads. What do you sense God calling you to do?
• Let’s close this morning by focusing our thoughts and hopes on Jesus’ return. What does it mean to you? What hope does it bring? What reluctance does it unveil (what things/dreams/habits/patterns in your life do you think would be ‘spoiled’ by His return)? 

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