Watching Expectantly

Throughout Lent, Rachel Hackenberg sent out via email a daily prayer “seed” for reflection and journaling. This is the second year I have done this Lenten practice. Most of my prayers are far too personal (and whiny) that I’d let them see the light of day. But today’s prompt is probably far closer to “real life” for myself and many others…

Rachel writes:

In the stillness and uncertainty of Holy Saturday, we reflect and pray with the sixth of Jesus’ seven last words: “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

Pray for mercy in those things that are ending in your life. Perhaps it is just Lent that is ending. Perhaps a loved one is taking final breaths. Perhaps a ministry is changing, or a job, or a relationship, or a perspective. May grace and peace find you as you sigh with Jesus, “It is finished.”

Watching expectantly
Watching expectantly

Our big cat, Henry, is a patient sort. He will sit and wait for people to walk through the door. He will sit at a window and watch for birds that land, ever so briefly, on the window sill. He has mastered the art of living “in the moment.” I confess to being envious.

I have been in a state of transition since I started seminary. Like transition in labor, it’s been intense, personal, and painful. And like the course of labor, eventually, it will end. The end result, still known only to God, will come at the appointed time.

I confess I am tired of waiting. I am a “do-er,” not a “be-er.” I want to get up and go, not sit and wait. Perhaps that’s why the walking meditation of my labyrinth is so calming and peaceful to me. I am not choosing the path, I’m just walking the pattern, slowly and quietly. I’m not picking a direction. I’m just following.

Most of us, I suspect, are also not chill-and-wait types. Oh, we can find time to pray, or meditate. But we aren’t skilled at lengthy self-introspection, (or we think it’s a waste of time, this “navel-gazing!”)

I am learning to “be” while I “do.” It’s hard.

For all of his watching and waiting, Henry knows how to be persistent in asking… for attention. For a lap. For a snack. So, it seems to me that even though we may be watching and waiting for that Spirit-breathed change, it is OK to storm the heavens with our prayers.

Oh Lord,
I confess I have not been faithful
in watching and waiting.
Oh, I have watched.
And I have certainly waited.
But even as I do,
I complain.
I grumble.
I give You rather pointed “suggestions.”
I struggle with contentment.

On this Holy Saturday,
I have tasks to do
Like laundry and errands and driving here and there.
So as I “do”
May I be aware
of Your work
Your plans
Your love
Your compassion

I pray for myself, and for friends and family
who are suffering.
I pray for the mundane and the miraculous.
For health
For jobs
For family members
For peace in our world
For clarity in decision-making
For perspective
For joy, even in waiting.
For You alone direct my path
and guide meI love you
and I trust You
Forever and ever,



  1. One way to reframe “waiting” is as “receiving.” Each unfolding moment is full of stimuli, including the mystery of silence and the jostling of thoughts competing for attention.


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