waiting in worship

waiting in worship


Luke 2:36-39
[Anna] began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem (Luke 2:38).


Read all of Isaiah 40:1-31 to fully grasp the context of verses 28-31 (a passage we often quote in reference to waiting for the Lord).


What has been your attitude toward an unanswered prayer? What is the connection between surrendering your will and worship? What does it mean to wait for the presence of the Lord?

I’ve never been exceptionally good at waiting. While I’ve learned that waiting can only be productive if I have set the desires of my heart on the things of God, lately He’s been working on my attitude in the waiting.

Anna, the prophet, certainly knew how to wait. We don’t know the circumstances of her widowhood, but we do know a bit about her extraordinary vigil: “She never left the temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer” (Luke 2:37).

Because of Anna’s willingness to wait for the Lord out of love—not simply seeking what He would give her—she experienced a powerful, persevering faith. Scripture tells us that Anna, after having seen the Messiah, “talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38). She didn’t stumble into the messianic revelation. It was a claim upon which she had staked her life and something she had waited many years to see. She remained in an attitude of worship of the One who would bring it to pass. And in the end, He proved to be the rewarder of her life (Hebrews 11:6).

We like to think we’re in control of the stuff of life, and we often use our own resources to bring about a desired result. We pursue a relationship, push an issue with our boss, or put ourselves deeper in debt to make sure we get what we want when we want it. Instead, if we determine in our hearts to wait for the presence of the Living God, not simply for an answer to our request, worship becomes a natural byproduct of the waiting.

Like Anna, let’s worship God even when we’re faced with unanswered prayers and unclear direction. Worship in the waiting can be a beautiful thing.

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: James 1:2-27

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11 Responses to “waiting in worship”

  1. Terrence Simon says:

    Dear Regina,

    For the past few weeks I’m undergoing with same confusion why lord is not answering my prayers and today, I got the answer from your message “Wait” Thanks for remembering me that I’ve to wait and Pray till my times comes.

    Glory to God.


    • Dear Terrence,

      We can all relate. I think our human tendencies for impatience and forgetfulness were two of the reasons God told the Joshua to build an altar of remembrance. God has answered in the past, and He will answer again.

  2. tom felten says:

    Regina, I’m reminded of this verse as I think about worshiping and waiting: “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10).

  3. Sandy says:


    I’ve been reading many of the devotionals from this web site and I have to admit, I have my favorites. You always touch my heart, a man of 66 years. I learn something from everyone’s work, but you seem to be used of God for me, more than the others.

    Thank you for your faithfulness, young lady. Lord bless you and your family this Christmas season!

    • Dear Sandy,

      I am humbled and honored at your words. The Lord has been gracious, and I am thankful for those who were willing to take a risk by investing in me.

      May the Lord continue to pour His Spirit out on you and your family as you serve Him with all that you are.

  4. alli says:

    WOW. I just was saying in the store all i want for Christmas is patience. and ironically i read this, its funny anna had no promise except for Jesus and that was enough for her. How many of us would be waiting for stuff and be satisfied with Just Jesus. I can’t say that i feel that there are things i want I hope i can get to the place Anna is and simply be content in the LORD

  5. dossk says:

    Dear Regina, What a lesson for the post-modern generation. I know of a mother who waited upon the Lord for 32 years for her son’s salvation. Another waited for 35 years for her son to come out of drinking habit. I have waited upon the Lord for ‘short’ periods and God graciously answered. But to wait for Years, I am yet to learn.

  6. Dear Dossk,

    My waiting rooms pale in comparison! I am praying that the Lord will increase my faith that I will not be intimidated by any waiting room He directs me to occupy.

  7. daisymarygoldr says:

    Good post and discussion, Regina and all! Considering the sorrowful bitterness of her life-long widowhood and the afflictions of old age, Anna serves a beautiful example of waiting in worship. What was she pursuing in prayer and fasting—remarriage, riches? Did she pray and fast for a relationship with another husband or for issues of debt and poverty to be resolved? What was she waiting for?

    Anna had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem. She prayed day and night for the coming of the Messiah. It is important to note that Anna’s prayers were not for her personal needs. Many give up on God if their prayers for healing of loved ones remain unanswered. Lest this is taken out of context, it needs to be clearly understood that the promise for answered prayers is applicable to all those who seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

    Worshiping is not just lifting up hands and singing in church. It is a prayerful preparation of our hearts in anticipation of the Messiah’s second coming. In Luke 2:30 Jesus is declared as the salvation, which God prepared for all people. Jesus Christ will come again, to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him (Hebrews 9:28).

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