Expect Christ: Day 20

Today is Friday, Dec. 16, the twentieth day in the Advent season.

Morning

Praise and Thanksgiving.

Let’s begin our prayers with Psalm 80.

Let’s also pray these words:

“Savior Like a Shepherd lead us! We give thanks for the gift of eternal life through the cross. We long for the promised life to come, a life we could experience even before our own deaths, if only we see you coming on the clouds. Lead us through the Holy Spirit now. Lead us visibly once again, ruling over all nations and peoples. Amen.”

What other words of thanks and praise might we lift up? When did we last count our blessings?

Confession. Let’s think about confession a little differently today. Imagine the perfect friend, the one you can tell anything without fearing rejection or reprisal. At worst, as you disclose your sins, your friend would say, “Don’t hurt yourself in such ways anymore.” Now go to God seeking such a relationship, trusting that understanding, forgiveness and healing will be offered.

Petitions. Using our “outside in” pattern, let’s ask God to intervene in global matters, in national needs, in our communities, schools and workplaces, in our churches and homes, and in our personal lives. Who are the specific people needing prayer?

Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:18-22. Again, we might want to take a little time to read before and after today’s verses, gaining some context as we prayerfully consider what God promised King David.

Silence.

Noon

Let’s continue to pray this prayer together daily:

“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.”

Night

At a minimum, let’s spend some significant time in a quiet, reflective state before retiring for the night. Embrace the day’s spiritual victories and release the failures.

Remember how important controlled breathing can be as we settle ourselves into our relationship with God. He breathed into us the breath of life; the Spirit came as wind and a life-altering fire.

Sleep well, knowing the promises made to David are fulfilled for us, too.

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