As seasons change, I want to modify my prayer window, adding an emphasis or new passage for memorization. For Advent, I added the definition of prayer from the Shorter Catechism. Reading the definition slowly, purposefully, I anchor my prayers to the One who hears. “An offering up of our desires unto God” reminds me of coming to the Lord without an agenda. OK, I try offering Him my schemes and preconceived notions, but the definitions calls me to also exchange my ideas for “things agreeable to His will.” Sovereignty, a doctrine I love, also brings me up short when progress in sanctification is involved! But reciting those words of the definition clear my slate, make me more ready to listen. Instead of “In Jesus’ name” as a tag at the end of prayer, I focus on His name(s) from the beginning of our dialogue. “With confession of our sins” can take a while, but drawing upon Romans 8:1 (“There is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”), I close “with thankful acknowledgment of His mercies.” I use the candles to focus on prayers for missionaries, family, and those who have not yet met the Savior.
Behind two candles rests a copy of C.S. Lewis’ definition of friendship, from his book, The Four Loves. Linda, a woman from our Wednesday night Bible study made these copies for each participant. Lewis’ words remind me of God’s grace in placing each woman in that study, and each friend in my life. The “secret Master of Ceremonies” has chosen us for each other. My mind ramifies in a myriad of direction, like Bear Creek, as I call to mind so many wonderful people the Lord has chosen for me over the years. Merry Christmas in the love of the Savior from my prayer window to you.