Advent Practices – Week 2 – Day 2

THEME: COMFORT ISN’T COMFORTABLE

BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME CARRY YOUR COMFORT TO THOSE IN NEED.


CENTERING:

“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come into his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Malachi 3:1

SETTLING IN:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).

Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.

PRACTICE:
PRAYER OF EXAMEN

For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.

God is constantly at work in and around us, and the Prayer of Examen guides us in being more attuned to His activity. By engaging in this form of prayer, we listen to our lives, taking time to consider even the most fleeting thoughts and glimpses as the Lord brings them to our attention.

  • Begin by closing your eyes, growing still, and focusing on your breath. Sit in the knowledge that God’s love for you is limitless. Invite Him to speak to you.
    • Short Form: Sit in silence for one minute, listening to your breath. If your mind wanders, pray the breath prayer.
  • Think back to the beginning of the day (or the previous day if it’s early in the morning). Re-play your experiences in your mind, slowly, as if watching a movie of your life. Who was a blessing to you? Who encouraged you? Who spoke edifying or comforting words to you? Thank God for these gifts and for the people He used to bring them to you.
    • Short Form: Review the past day in your mind, thinking through your morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening, and night. What person stands out as a blessing or encouragement to you? Thank God for this person.
  • Review the day again and allow God to direct your thoughts toward people you encountered who need strength or comfort. Did you notice anyone who might feel rejected? Abused? Abandoned? Crushed? Think of these people’s faces as you lift them to the Throne of God.
    • Short Form: Thinking through your day again, what person stands out as being in a valley, whose life or circumstances feel oppressive? Ask the Lord to bring comfort and strength to him or her.
  • Now think about the people you expect to encounter in the coming day. Which of these people might need “great strength”? Ask the Lord to highlight someone He would like to comfort and encourage through you. Set a reminder to pray for that person 15 minutes before you expect to see him or her. As you interact, expect God to reveal ways you can show His love to that person.
    • Short Form: Look to the day ahead. Who do you anticipate seeing or talking with who might need comfort or strength? What could you do to encourage that person? Write a few notes about it in your journal, and plan to act on it.
  • In your journal, write down a few notes about what the Lord showed you in the Examen of your day.

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Lord, help me carry Your comfort to those in need.


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