Advent means “come.” At Christmastime we celebrate the miracle birth of “Immanuel,” God come to be with us. Jesus Christ was born to the virgin Mary to show us God in human flesh – this is God’s greatest dream and humankind’s greatest longing!
God wants to birth a dream through you too! Mary is our example. The fulfillment of the Christmas miracle came through her humble submission and trust.
Imagine it. Mary was a young woman when the angel Gabriel said to her: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God… For nothing is impossible with God.”
Her reply is perhaps the most important prayer in all of the Bible (repeated in similar words by many others in the Bible): “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:35-38).
To participate in a great God-dream (or to accomplish anything of lasting significance) we need to take Mary’s posture of being a servant of the Lord and pray: “Let it be to me according to your word.”
Abiding in Prayer to Discern God’s Dream For You
What dream does God want to birth through you? What is he inviting you to experience or do this Christmas season? Listen and wait on the Lord…
In prayer, identify the longing or opportunity that you think God might have for you… Imagine yourself doing this to serve him…
Cultivate the trust in God and submission to his kingdom purposes that Mary expressed so you too can give birth to your God-dream in his time. Offer to the Lord her prayer that received God’s Christmas miracle: “Let it be to me according to your word…”
To help you quiet your heart and let it be formed by the words of God you might try slowly breathing in and out Mary’s prayer of submission. Breathe in slow and deep: “Let it be to me…” Hold your breath and your longing for God and his dream for you… Then breathe out, “According to your word… “
Abiding in Prayer For a Friend
Who do you know who needs a “God with us” miracle? Name this person to God… Picture him or her… Then pray: “Let it be to my friend according to your word…”
We’re you able to pray with me or did you just read these words? You and those in your circle of influence will be blessed if you engage your mind and heart in Mary’s prayer. (You might need to print out this devotional and find a quiet, uncluttered place and some unhurried time to pray!)
Using a Breath Prayer is a simple way to use our bodies to engage our minds and hearts in our praying.
Find Surprising Joy as You Experience Advent
Journey with Mary or another of the 15 different nativity characters featured in our Surprising Joy Advent devotional cards. These studio artist-illustrated devotional cards invite you to enter into the story of the first Christmas by following their journeys.
You can pick one Advent card to deeply experience Advent through that nativity character or pick a different one each day for personal devotions throughout the Advent season.
Surprising Joy Advent devotional cards can be used in small group meetings or celebrations with family and friends. You can also share these beautiful cards as a gift.
This is a fresh and inspiring devotional experience. I pray that you experience the love of Jesus more deeply this Christmas as you spend time meditating on the characters of Advent.
More Breath Prayers
To pray a short verse or paraphrase of Scripture as a Breath Prayer is refreshing and empowering. It helps you learn to practice God’s presence all day and stay in tune with the peace of Christ. I’ve selected key verses of Scripture and developed step-by-step instructions for meditation, breathing rhythms, and prayer in “Breath Prayer Guides.”