Is your Advent prayer missing the point?

December 4th, 2019

The Advent the liturgy instructs us to pray — solemnly, hopefully, deeply — is “Come, Lord Jesus, come.” This hopeful prayer set against the backdrop of darkening days — both seasonally and politically — implies waiting with expectation. Yet I can’t help but wonder if this prayer misses the point.

What are we waiting for? We all know Jesus has already come. While he was here, incarnate on earth, he already showed people how to do what he did. How to bring health to illness. How to bring light into darkness. How to bring truth to an empire of crushing power.

Instead of waiting on Jesus to work through some heavenly redemption, perhaps Jesus is waiting on us to work some earthly miracles.

During Jesus’ life, he was very clear about sharing his power with his disciples and apostles. He wanted them to be able to do the very things he did. To heal the sick. To cast out demons. To feed the hungry. To proclaim the Kingdom. To expand the ranks with new apostles of peace.

If you are praying for Jesus to do something he has already taught you how to do, then maybe it’s time to take up some new prayers.

I’d like to suggest the following three prayers this Advent:

Pray the Apostle’s Prayer. “Lord, increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5) When the apostles prayed this, they weren’t asking to have more faith in Jesus, but to have more of the faith of Jesus. Having that sort of faith is what it takes to do the things he did. And to go beyond it.

Pray the Prayer of St. Francis. I love this prayer because it instructs me in exactly how to be an apostle of peace, a force for good in the world.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life

Pray “I believe; help thou my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24) I pray this prayer when I find myself wavering in my ability to be courageous in the face of evil, or hopeful in the face of darkness.

Praying these prayers will align your life, thoughts, actions and soul with Jesus’ call to us: to be apostles of peace, healing, comfort and Kingdom.

There’s one more thing I invite you to do this Advent. Register for the DARE to Dream Like Jesus course. You will learn about Jesus’ big dream for the world, the DARE model of dreaming, and how to grow in the faith of Jesus to make a true difference.

comments powered by Disqus