Today is Monday, November 28, the second day in the Advent season. Welcome to the daily prayer guide for Advent!
Praise and Thanksgiving. We will be praying through psalms that are associated with the coming of the Messiah. Don’t be surprised if we repeat some of them for a few days, or go back to them later in our Advent prayers. Today, let’s take time to consider Psalm 22, which Jesus quoted on the cross. Let’s also clearly declare to whom we lift our prayers:
“Great God over all, Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer, we rejoice in the loving relationship you offer us. Life is meaningless without you! May we be constantly mindful of the gift of eternal life you give us, and may our lives serve as the thank-you note, inadequate as such thanks may be. Amen.”
Confession. Where have we acted in our own interests, rather than according to God’s will? Lord, as we see our sins and repent, forgive us. And remind us of the Good News: In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
Petitions. Let’s begin with global concerns, then move to praying for our nations, and then from there for our communities (including work or school), our churches, our families and ourselves. As much as possible, let’s keep our prayers focused on people.
Scripture. Mark 1:1-8. Long before Jesus appeared among us—even before creation—God determined a messiah would be needed. This divine preparation can be seen centuries before Christ arrives, and a herald prophet named John the Baptist immediately preceded the coming of our savior.
The following is offered as our repeated noontime prayer throughout Advent. You also may want to use the Lord’s Prayer during this time, either the common memorized version used so often in worship, or the CEB translation of Matthew 6:9-13.
“Lord, we have entered a season of expectation. We remember the Israelites’ past desire for a savior to arrive, and we mirror what they felt as we long now for the return of Jesus Christ. Come Lord Jesus, come! We pray this with some trepidation, knowing we never feel completely ready for such a day, and that loved ones around us may not be ready. And yet we continue to pray, Come Lord Jesus, come! We trust that your grace at your return will so overwhelm sin and death that all will be set right. As we pray for your full arrival, teach us how to make ourselves ready, living as watchful people. Amen.”
During our September series on prayer, I emphasized evening meditation in some form. I again offer you links to two articles designed to help you get started, “Life and Breath” and “Under Water.”
At a minimum, I hope you will spend some significant time in a quiet, reflective state before retiring for the night. Embrace the day’s spiritual victories and release the failures.
And as you sleep, may visions of a world conformed to Christ be in your dreams.