Advent Day 18

Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there (Matthew 19:13-15).

  • Little children were the weakest and most vulnerable members of society in Jesus’ day. They still are.
  • Some people thought the children were unworthy of Jesus’ attention, but His actions challenge us to remember that the less powerful a person is, the more we must be Jesus to them.
  • Prayer is personal and powerful. We can pray for people, but we can also pray with them. What opportunities will you have to pray for or with someone this week?

NOTE: If you’ve never practiced a lectio divina style reading of scripture, here are the basic steps:

Read: Read through the scripture once or twice. Don’t rush. Reading out loud might help you go slower and hear in a different way. Some electronic Bibles will even read the passage for you. No matter how you read/hear, take your time and let the words sink into your thoughts.

Meditate: As you think about the scripture, something might “jump out” at you. You might notice a word or a phrase that seems to be important to you right now. If so, take a minute or two and just let that word stay in your thoughts. Turn it over in your mind a time or two. Even if nothing seems especially important, ask yourself what God might be saying to you through His word.

Pray: Whatever God is saying to you, or inviting you to do, is a subject for prayer. Ask Him to help you understand and/or obey.

Contemplate: Sometimes we think that when we say “Amen” our prayer is over. Instead, why not carry the scripture with you throughout the day? As you go through your activities today, carry the scripture with you. Let it run through your mind while you drive, work or shop. You might even want to return to the same scripture at the end of the day and see if there is a further encouragement or invitation for you there.

 

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