Using the Devotional
A Suggested Pattern for Daily Prayer
Breath Prayer: Notice your breathing. Breathe in the breath of God and breathe out the sins, worries, and hurts of the day. Slow your breath. Breathing in, say to yourself, “Come.” Exhaling, breathe out, “Lord Jesus.”
Opening Scripture: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1)
Prayer of Thanksgiving: Conversationally, pray to God, giving thanks for the blessings of the particular day.
Prayer of Confession: Give to God the sins of omission (things you forgot to do), commission (things you shouldn’t have done), and mistakes that the evil one wants to hold over you. Be specific in your prayer! Ask God for forgiveness and receive God’s word of Grace for yourself.
Scripture Reading: Read the full Scripture reference printed at the beginning of each devotional (yes, this will require you to get your Bible out!). Perhaps use the form of lectio divina to read through the passage four times: read (listen for a key word or phrase), reflect (what is God saying through that word?), respond (what will I do in response to that word?), and rest (bask in the silence of having experienced God’s grace).
Devotional Reflection: Having, hopefully, already spent some time dwelling on the text, now read the devotional for that day.
Other Devotional Acts: Conclude by reciting the Apostles’ or Nicene Creed, praying the Lord’s Prayer, and singing or reflecting on a favorite hymn. Of the Father’s Love Begotten is a great (and ancient!) Advent hymn to learn this month!