For Advent, I decided to create a daily prayer challenge – to pray for someone difficult to love, who is different from myself, who I have trouble seeing the image of God in, etc. I invite you to join in this challenge with me. You don’t have to reveal any names of who you are praying for. The only hitch is that you can’t pray to change the other person. This is about preparing our hearts and minds for Christ – that means we each need to be changed so that we can see the image of God in others, especially those that are challenging to us. Here is Day 1:
Advent Prayer Challenge – Day 1.
Read Luke 1. Commentary – Unexpected things happen all the time. We have a choice of how we respond. Some will doubt. Some will move forward in faith, not knowing what the consequences are. Regardless, God encounters us and transforms our lives in ways we cannot even imagine. Today, my prayer is for a person who chooses easy over right and my frustration with this choice.
Let us pray. Patient God, Prof. Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is quoted as saying, “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” This is certainly true in the movies. But it is also true in reality too. It was true in the past as we read in Scripture, it is true now, and it will still be true again in the future. As we move into Advent, we aren’t just preparing for Christmas. We are being encountered by God. How will we respond when God calls on us to do what is right, rather than what is easy?
On this day, my prayer is for someone I find difficult to love. A person I have trouble seeing the image of God in. I see them choosing the easy path, rather than what is right and if I am honest, I this disturbs me greatly. Yet this person does have the image of God in them. Open my eyes to see it. Cleanse me and wipe away the log in my own eyes so that I may see clearly. Give me the courage to love this person and to know what that kind of love actually means. Amen.