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Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

Monday, the fourth week of Advent

“As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness; ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight.” Mark 1:2-3 (NRSV)
 

It’s hard to miss Christmas. Decorations are everywhere, holiday specials have pre-empted regular television programs, and countless messengers proclaim Jesus’ birth through Christmas carols. “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!” But are we really getting the message? God himself has come among as, as one of us. To say his arrival is deeply personal is an understatement. The good news is that he wants to gift us with his presence in every area of our lives. Is his way into the whole of our existence cluttered with our garbage? God forbid! Now is the time to make his path to us straight. Can you hear the prophet’s call from his wilderness into yours? Prepare the way of the Lord!

Oh Lord,
 

Look at the mess that is my life. I’m ashamed of all the barriers I create to block intimacy with you. Yet, you continue to come to me, mercifully moving my junk out of the way. But I have my own tasks to do. Your word admonishes me to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. Give me to strength to be faithful to you, and avoid the many occasions for sin presented to me. I want to be pure of heart, so before I even catch a glimpse of you, with great joy I can shout,

“Come, Lord Jesus.”

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