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Prayer Tip: Angels and Annunciations

December 10, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Luke 1:26-35 and 37-38

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son…. Nothing is impossible for God.” Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Struggling to relate to some teenagers, I lamented to my therapist, “Don’t they know how much I love them, how much I have sacrificed for them and how much this is hurting me?”

She responded kindly and empathetically, “No, they don’t have the capacity yet as teenagers to understand. Their brains are not developed enough to understand these things and they are at a place in their life where they are very self-centered.”

This made me think of my limited human capacity to understand God’s love. God’s love is so much larger than my brain will ever be able to comprehend. I will never be able to understand fully God’s love for me and his other children. Sometimes I find myself treating my relationship with God like an errant teenager. My brief prayer life feels like the equivalent of, “Thanks for the dinner, I’m off to spend time with my friends, can I get some gas money?”

The fact that I can’t fully comprehend God’s love doesn’t mean I get to just give up. Full comprehension may elude me, yet I can learn more about God’s love by spending time in his presence. God promises that if we seek him we will find him. The more time we spend in his perfect presence feeling his love, the more of his goodness and grace we are able to grasp. This allows us to then pour out that divine love into others. In the presence of God is where we find our greatest joy and he is ready and waiting to spend time with his children.

I encourage you this holiday season to spend time in prayer, to carve out time to pray with the ultimate Creator. The author of every good story. The artist behind every beach, sunset and snowflake. The original breath behind each baby, friend and family member in your life. You might find yourself resting in perfect peace, or jumping up and down with new inspiration. Each encounter is different, but each can be meaningful, life changing and full of joy.

 

Prayer

Dear God,
You are love and light.
You are the reason for everything merry and bright.
Our hearts long to sing, glory to the king.
Glory to the light of the world.
Amen.

 

GPS Insights

Ashly Cooley

Ashly Cooley

This week's prayer tip is by Ashly Cooley. She has been on staff since 2015 and says this is the best job she has ever had. She is passionate about serving the Lord, normalizing mental health care, and is a self-proclaimed bibliophile. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, extended family and friends as well as dancing badly and snuggling her dog, Bessie.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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