Monday, December 18, 2017

Praying in the Spirit of Advent

Advent - a coming/ an arrival ---- (of significance)

Traditionally = 4 Sundays before Christmas ...
            1)  celebrate His 1st. coming - John 1:1, 14 - Christmas, incarnation, manger, shepherds, etc.
            2)  anticipate His 2nd. coming - Matt. 25:31
AND   3) call upon Him to come NOW - (visitation)
Point is more than his Presence, but = Active Presence - Judges 6:12-13 - as He came 2000 years ago, and as He will come back.

Advent Prayer = As You came in the past, and as You'll come again, so Lord, visit us now - make Yourself known, do a mighty work.

Example:  Psm. 5:1-5, 11-12 - Psalms = song prayers.  Not formal prayers but praying in the spirit of Advent.
Advent prayer typically expresses:

(1)  Recognition of who God is - personal, caring, All mighty
(2)  confusion (perplexity, bewilderment) as to why Hi doesn't act (intervene)
(3)  confidence that He will come (and act) in the "fullness of time" - just the right time

This is the heart of Advent Prayer - whether for yourself, another individual, people group
Psm. 7:1-2, 6-9, 10:1-3, 10-12 -- Advent-type prayers

Some Themes of Advent Prayer:

LORD, come Now and......
(1)  Deliver  your child, your people .... from oppression, evil, injustice, persecution, fear, jealousy, depression,  Examples:  drugs, alcohol, Satan's influence, etc.

(2)  Establish Justice - which = "set things right"

(3)   Bring healing - physical, emotional, relational, social, racial, political - Matt. 11:2-6 - "this is what I came for!"

In lieu of deliverance, justice, healing....
(4) grant strength, grant comfort, grant assurance - Acts 4:29-31

(5)  Shed light (advent vs. darkness) - Isa 9:2, 2 Cor. 4:4

(6)  Grant Salvation - so many need to be saved

(7)  Effect transformation - in my life, church family

(8)  Expand Your Kingdom - Example:  Lord's prayer:  "thy Kingdom come, thy will ....."

(9)  Execute judgment - on sin, evil, wickedness

(10)  MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN - as in Advent 1 & 2


(1)  Recognition of need - ie:  (a) things are not OK.  (b)  we need God's intervention.  If everything is fine, no need to prayer - Advent praying recognizes need is bigger than us.

(2)  Confidence in God - (a)  His personal concern   (b)  His Sovereign Ability

(3)  Crying out - Ex. 3:7-8, Judges 3: 7, 9 - Compare 2 Chron. 7:14 - crying out

(4)  Self-preparation - because when He comes , what shape are you in??  Example:  Isa. 6:5 - hence - the message of John the Baptist.  He may choose to use you!!

(5)  An attitude of submission - to His will, wisdom, plan ... Hab.  1:2-6, 12, 3:16 - not my will but Yours

(6)  A spirit of cooperation - ie:  if He intervenes, are you willing to work with Him to accomplish this?  Examples: Moses & the Exodus,  Apostles and the Great Commission

(7)  Recognition of Christ - because this is more than a generic call to a generic god.
This IS a cry for God to Act ... through His Son, Jesus Christ - specifically

Know this;  when He doesn't act, He is still with us.  He will never leave us or forsake us!!

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