presentation in the temple
Presentation in the Temple by Father George Senat. From Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library

Dear God,

I have been thinking about Anna and Simeon,
about how long they waited,
how long they persevered.

Give me perseverance.

I am not always very good at hoping.
I get all superstitious
as if the act of hoping will make something
less likely to happen
(my mother said a watched pot never boils).

Strengthen hope within me.

And when they saw you in the temple
a baby, just a baby
they knew.
Knew that you are the one they hoped for.
The Messiah.

I see all kinds of things,
meet all kinds of people
and hear all kinds of stories.
I want to have the kind of eyes and ears
that see you and know you.

Bless my looking and my listening.

Simeon held you and
sang in praise,
in thanksgiving,
and knew peace.
When Anna saw you,
she praised God
and spoke about the child.

Turn my heart to praise.
Embolden my speech
that I might be a praise-giver
and a truth-teller.

Teach me to be like Anna and Simeon.

Jemma Allen is a priest in the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.  Her ministry is currently both in a parish where she works with children and young people and as a counsellor and spiritual director in private practice.

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