Praying through Advent: Praying the Nativity

Praying through Advent: Praying the Nativity December 21, 2014

3861586189_d8d0d5d8ba_mOur Advent imagination prayer is getting closer to the manger!

Today’s passage has the angels departing for heaven and the shepherds taking to the road to Bethlehem to check out this birth for themselves.

As you imagine yourself part of the shepherd’s caravan, see if you can catch the emotion in the scene.

The Practice

  • Begin by turning your attention to the presence of God in prayer. Ask for the awareness of how God interacts with your imagination.
  • Read the selected portion of Luke’s birth narrative below.

Luke 2: 15-18

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.

  • Imagine yourself with the shepherds in the fields, watching as the angels departed. Be part of the conversation about going to Bethlehem. Notice the energy and emotion in the air.
  • Be with the shepherds in the caravan to Bethlehem. Talk with them. Soak in the scene as you ride from wherever they were tending their flocks to the town of Bethlehem.
  • Let yourself see the scene as they pull up to the structure where Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are taking refuge. What does it look like?
  • As you step inside, give yourself plenty of time to look around and take in the scene. What do you notice?
  • Take time to gaze into the eyes of the newborn Jesus.
  • Notice who is in the room with you. Talk to anyone you feel comfortable talking with.
  • After your time with the family is up, leave with the shepherds. Listen as they discuss how they are going to explain what they have experienced to other people.
  • Stay with them awhile. As they go into the next town and talk with people, notice how they articulate their experience. What would you have to say about what you saw, heard and felt?
  • End this prayer with gratitude for all you have experienced.

For more about spiritual direction as I practice it, check out my website. Most of these prayer practices come from my book 50 Ways to Pray.  If interested, it can be purchased here.

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