Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Waiting on the Promise

Here's how to wait. Acts 1.12-14, 24-26

The Beginning of the Ongoing: Acts 1 (5)

Pray Psalm 27.11-14

Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Sing Psalm 27.11-14
(Joanna: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise)
Lord, teach us; Lord, lead us because of our foes!
Hear, Lord, when we plead for release from their woes.
Had we not believed all Your goodness to see,
our heart sorely grieved and in turmoil would be.

Wait, wait on the Lord; persevere in His grace.
Hold fast to His Word; seek His radiant face.
Be strong, set your heart to abide in His Word;
His grace He imparts; therefore, wait on the Lord.

Read Acts 1.12-14, 24-26


1. What did the disciples do as they waited for God’s Promise?

2. How did Luke describe their prayers?

“OK, guys, let’s head back to Jerusalem and wait.”

Is that what Peter said? Maybe. But this was no ordinary waiting – like at the DMV, for your number to be called, sitting around, everybody reading this or that or checking their watches or twiddling their thumbs, waiting for someone to do something. No, this waiting is a form of serving the Lord and His purposes, to be precise.

The verb means something like linger around. The apostles were lingering around together, all of one accord, thinking about the Promise of the Father, the coming of the Spirit, and whatever might follow from that. And they’re doing this, with the other members of their small community, in prayer. The apostles and the others took up the exhortation of Psalm 27 to wait on the Lord and not to despair, but to keep on waiting until the goodness of the Lord appeared in the land of the living.

We note that they waited like this for ten straight days (Christ taught them for 40 days, then ascended; Pentecost came 50 days after Passover). If Christ exalted in glory is the continuo of our Kingdom cantata, prayer is the composition in which we all join, taking our separate parts in a single thematic motif, following the notes provided, until the composition reaches its end.

There’s a second facet to the waiting which the disciples engaged in for ten days: They took care of the business immediately at hand, as the Word of God directed (vv. 24-26). There’s always something to do in seeking the Kingdom, even if it’s some mundane detail like “officer elections.” We must not despise the details of obedience. Whatever the Lord shows us to do, we must do it at once, and with excellence.

Waiting is an act of faith and obedience. The Lord commands us to wait. The saints of both the Old and New Testament practiced waiting on the Lord. If we want to know the full benefits of what the Father has promised for us in Jesus, we need to become better at waiting on Him.

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers” (Acts 1.14).

Can you imagine the emotions contained in that one room?
Mary has just watched her first-born Son be crucified, rise again, and then ascend into heaven.
His brothers, who were not always seemingly on board with everything their Brother did, are now bereft of Him, and suffering His loss. Maybe even feeling a little guilt?
The remaining 11 disciples have lost their leader, mentor, guide, and best friend. They too, are suffering loss.

Now, can you imagine the excited anticipation of waiting for this Loved One’s Spirit to infuse each one of them? They will no longer be bereft of Him, and each one will receive an equal measure of His love, power, and strength. Strength to do His will. And how wise it was to add their newest 12th member, so he too, could participate is this joy from the beginning (v. 26).

The Promise. Remember what Jesus said?
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (Jn. 14.16-20). Boom! Life-changing.

The same Promise. Remember what He said to us?
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (Ezek. 36.27).
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God” (1 Cor. 2.12).
“There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Cor. 12.4).
“…the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3.6).
“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (I Jn. 4.13).

And the main purpose of the Promise? Hear what Jesus prayed in John 17.22, 23:
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

The Promise is for life-changing Love! In and through us.

1. What are some things for which you are currently waiting on the Lord?

2. What makes the Promise of the Holy Spirit so important to our lives as Christians?

3. The disciples practiced extended, focused, communal prayer and waiting on the Lord. Should we? Explain.

…all of them not only remained in the same dwelling but also spent time together in common affection, with a singular diligence, and with great perseverance in the practice of prayer and praise, asking God to grant the blessings that Jesus had promised them and to deliver them from wicked people and the persecution with which they were threatened by their enemies. Moise Amyraut (1596-1664), Paraphrase of the Acts of the Apostles 1:13.2

Pray Psalm 27.7-10
Seek the Lord’s Presence and help for the day ahead. Be specific in asking Him for mercy and grace to help in all your times of need (Heb. 4.16).

Sing Psalm 27.7-10
(Joanna: Immortal, Invisible God Only  Wise)
Hear, Lord, when we cry and be gracious, we pray!
Lord, do not deny us Your favor this day!
Our help, our salvation, though others may fall,
preserve our good station when on You we call.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by clicking here. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).

We’re happy to provide a free companion study to our study of the book of Acts. The Ongoing Work of Christ considers the book of Acts thematically. It is suitable for personal or group use, and you may have a free PDF copy of The Ongoing Work of Christ by requesting it from us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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