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Luke Study #16 – Waiting

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 2:25-27 (CEV)

25 At this time a man named Simeon was living in Jerusalem. Simeon was a good man. He loved God and was waiting for God to save the people of Israel. God’s Spirit came to him 26and told him that he would not die until he had seen Christ the Lord.

27 When Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to do what the Law of Moses says should be done for a new baby, the Spirit told Simeon to go into the temple.

Waiting

We aren’t told exactly how old Simeon is, but we are told that he was old enough for it to matter that he “would not die until he had seen Christ the Lord.” So we can assume he’s getting on in years. But we also know two other things: that he loved God and that he was waiting for God to save the people of Israel.

We will meet all sorts of people throughout the pages of Luke, and the interesting thing is that just as each person is different, so is each person’s meeting with Jesus different. In Simeon’s case it would appear that we have met an individual who has spent his life dedicated to loving God. He likely prayed multiple times a day, fasted regularly, spent time weekly or daily at the temple and did his best to keep the law. And it would seem that the focus of his prayers for years – maybe even decades – has been for God to save the people of Israel.

This guy is a “prayer warrior”. He’s one of those people who very quietly and unobtrusively gets on and prays for things to change in the world. And I don’t think his prayers are just rote words – I think the kind of prayer Simeon’s been up to for all these years is a prayer that is fueled by such deep passion and intensity of care for the people of Israel that this has been his life’s work, whatever else he’s done. He doesn’t seem to have minded how long he had to pray – God gave him a vision for what to pray for, and that’s what he’s done.

I think there are two kinds of people. Those for whom prayer like this makes sense, and those for whom it doesn’t. I have met a few of these prayer warriors over the years. Many of them have been older. Most of them have had challenging lives. Some of them have been housebound. And yet when these quiet, unassuming individuals opened their mouths to begin to pray, you knew that this was not an awkward conversation with a distant deity – this was the continuation of an almost-constant two-way conversation with a dear friend.

And these prayer warriors I’ve known – and Simeon as well – they’ve heard from God, and they’ve seen God answer prayers that most people in their day had no idea God would ever actually come through on! What an incredible privilege!Journal Questions:

  1. How do you find prayer? Is it complicated, confusing, comforting, challenging, ????
  2. Do you ever find yourself feeling so deeply passionate about an issue that you almost have no choice but to pray about it?
  3. If this is you, how are you cultivating times and spaces in life to pray?
  4. If this is you, is there a bigger change that God is calling you to pray towards in our world?
  5. Do you ever wish you could pray but find it very difficult to start?
  6. If this is you, what would change if you started to think that God was listening, or that God would answer?
  7. If this is you, would you be willing to join our Alpha group, in part to learn more about what it means to pray?

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