Expect Christ: Day 23

Today is Monday, Dec. 19, the twenty-third day in the Advent season.

Morning

Praise and Thanksgiving.

Today, rather than beginning our time of guided prayer with a psalm, we are going to begin with Hannah’s Prayer, found in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.

Let’s also pray these words:

“Dear Lord, like Hannah we seek signs and make promises, but we know the great promises have already been made by you, ensuring us a path out of sin and death. Glory be to our God, who gave up so much to give us eternal life! Continue to guard the feet of your faithful ones. Continue to drive back evil. Amen.”

What other words of thanks and praise might we lift up?

Confession. Sin always blocks our ability to grow in Christlike love. Let’s think not only of what we lose when we repent, but what we gain.

Petitions. As we move close to the Christmas season, let’s pray in particular for those needing to know the truth that God has intervened in this world through Jesus Christ.

Scripture: Galatians 4:8-20. It’s not hard to discern Paul’s concern for the people of Galatia. Would he have similar concerns for us today?

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.

May a good night’s rest prepare us for a holy and inspired day tomorrow.

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