Third Sunday of Advent

Turn to Prayer

“By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

We have to pray. We have to listen to the voice that calls us the beloved.

Oh, if we could sit for just one half hour a day doing nothing except taking a simple word or phrase from the Bible and holding it in our heart and mind. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Say it three times. We know it’s not true, because we want many things. That is exactly why we’re so nervous. But if we keep saying the truth, the real truth – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” – and let that truth descend from our minds into our hearts, gradually those words will be written on the walls of our inner holy place. That becomes the space in which we can receive our colleagues and our work, our family and our friends, and the people we will meet during the day.

The trouble is that as soon as we sit and become quiet, we think, “Oh I forgot this. I should call my friend. Later on I’m going to see him.” Our inner life is like a banana tree filled with monkeys jumping up and down. It is not easy to sit and trust that in solitude God will speak to us – not as a magical voice but as knowledge that grows gradually over the years. And in that word from God we will find the inner place from which to live our lives.


Hear my humble petitions, heavenly Father, as I kneel in prayer.



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