“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father…” – Acts 1:4
“All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” – Acts 1:14
Jesus ordered, not suggested, His disciples wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father.
In fact, Jesus had conveyed this promise before His crucifixion and after His resurrection (Luke 24:49). Why did the disciples have to wait for God to fulfil His promise? Surely, He could fulfil it in an instant?
And why did Jesus order them to stay in Jerusalem? Surely, if they were commissioned to go to the ends of the earth, they must go forthwith?
The disciples obeyed Jesus’ order by devoting themselves in unity to prayer. Devotion is single-mindedness. Unity is to be of the same mind.
The disciples waited for the Father’s promise by praying single-mindedly and being of the same mind.
We would later see why they had to stay in Jerusalem. At Pentecost, Jews from practically every nation known in the ancient world would be gathered there to witness the spectacular fulfilment of this promise.
Before then, the disciples pushed aside any fear of uncertainty, restlessness and doubt by single-minded prayer.
To be clear, the fulfilment of the Father’s promise was not predicated on their prayer. That is solely on account of His character.
Instead, prayer focussed the disciples to expect the fulfilment of the promise, prepared them to receive the fulfilment, and gathered them to witness the fulfilment. Indeed, when Pentecost came, they were all gathered in one place, expectant and ready to experience the awesome arrival of the Holy Spirit.
Waiting on God through devoted and united prayer is like how the pupils in our eyes dilate at the imagination of light, that when the sun finally rises, they are ready to behold the beauty the true light brings.
Waiting on God in prayer transforms the eyes of our soul ready to behold the beauty of God.
We may experience fear, restlessness and doubt when we wait for God’s promise. Why am I stuck in this place? Where is God’s leading in this? When will He speak?
What can we do about that? We can wait on God where we are, devoted and united in prayer. As we pray, expect the fulfilment of God’s promises, prepare ourselves to receive the fulfilment, and gather ourselves to witness the fulfilment.
And the eyes of our soul shall be transformed ready to behold the beauty of God.