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Prayer, Plain and Simple

By Claudia Mair Burney

Monday, the second week of Advent

“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus had also been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
 

Have you ever wondered why the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove? Perhaps there’s a connection to the dove that flew out into the world after the great flood, which was a metaphor for a new beginning for humankind. In this passage Christ is embarking on His own new beginning that will benefit the whole world. His baptism, a simple act of obedience, commences his pubic ministry, and from here, Jesus begins to change the lives of everyone he comes in contact with. He is still transforming lives today.

 

Father of the Beloved,
 
I can only imagine what it was like to be at Jesus’ baptism. With my minds eye I can see the dove glide from the heavens to perch serenely on his shoulder. But many times, I struggle with sensing the movements, and resting places of the Holy Spirit. You don’t usually speak in audible voices either, Father. Please give me discernment, so that I may know when I should be still with you, and when I should soar with you; when you speak, and how to recognize your voice and say, “Yes, that is Abba talking. Help me in the name of your Beloved. “
 
Come, Lord Jesus.

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