12.14 Advent Devotional
Today's Advent Devotional, on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, is written by Carol Blackwood.
Carol is NorthPark's Director of Children's Music and longtime member of the church. Carol's father, Jim Farabee, was the Sanctuary Choir Director and organist here at NorthPark and she has enjoyed following in his footsteps. You can find Carol each Sunday working with our children in the Sunday School hour, and be sure to look for her in the choir loft during worship!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil. May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
I’m not good at formal prayer. Sometimes I get side-tracked once my prayer gets a little lengthy. I have trouble quieting my mind to elaborate on my thoughts. But God’s okay with that, I think. God knows I’ll just catch up to where I was or to a different prayer all together pretty soon. As I read these blogs by all the wonderful folks who are able to speak so eloquently of their faith, I have to say I feel a little inadequate.
But again, God goes easy on me, accepting my "prayer snippets" that come at the spur of the moment: in thanks for that car not hitting me or to ask God to quiet my anxious thoughts or get me through a mini-crisis.
To pray without ceasing kind of works for me: living in continual God-consciousness, where everything you see and every experience becomes a kind of prayer. Okay, I may not be to the "without ceasing" point, but with every snippet, I’m one step closer. My prayers are a work in progress, and my God says that’s alright. God bless your prayer time this Advent season – both the long and the short.