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December 3 Devotional

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.

Opening Prayer: My God, since You are with me, and since it is Your will that I should apply my mind to these outward things, I pray that You will give me the grace to remain with You and keep company with You. But so that my work may be better, Lord, work with me; receive my work and possess all my affections. (The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence)

Scripture Reading for the Day: Isaiah 40:1-5

Reading for Reflection: It will be up to us to prepare for the Night of the Child, to prepare the way of the Lord, to make straight the paths. It will be up to us to make a journey of sorts toward Bethlehem, to spend some time listening to the story as it weaves its way through Advent. We are the ones who must make room in our hearts for the story to speak, who must listen carefully to its twists and its turns, listening for the places where it begins to tell us our own story. The season will be full of stories, of family and friends, of Christmases long ago, of memories and hopes and half-forgotten days gone by. And in the midst of them, we must take care that we do not neglect the telling of the story. We must be present to its telling, if we hope for it to touch our hearts. We are the ones who must ponder in our hearts what all of this has to teach us about the Story of us all. It will be up to us to leave our flocks unattended for a while. It will fall to us to manage our time and our energy and our calendars and our schedules. We are the ones who must make sure that there is a place and the time to be silent and thoughtful, to rest and contemplate. We are the ones who must seek out the time to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of the Night of the Child. (Night of the Child by Robert Benson)

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Paul G. is the International Director of Training for Christar and also serves as an Internet pastor. Pray today for a Christar relief project reaching people in Iraq displaced by Islamic militants.

Young Life Tennessee seeks to pursue and befriend lost or disinterested teenagers to introduce them to Jesus, share the gospel, and help them grow in their faith. Pray today for all of the students reached by Knoxville Young Life that they may know the love of Jesus during this Christmas season.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, our Heavenly Father, during this season of Advent help us to prepare our hearts for your coming. Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people. We eagerly await your coming. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.