Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?

What is Advent?

Advent is the four-week season of preparation to celebrate the coming of Jesus at Christmas. This year we will prepare room for Christ in our hearts and lives through daily readings in from Philip Reinder’s Seeking God’s Face and the occasional work of art: a song, a painting, or a poem. Something that will sneak past our usual barriers of noise, hustle and busyness to help cultivate a discerning eye for both our sin and the hope Christ carries with him.

Our hope is that this season of expectant waiting will help us to tap into both our sense that the world is not as it should be AND (a glorious and!) that God in Christ has come down to bring healing and consolation to our broken world and hearts. Advent is a season, then, where we say: All shall be well! Because the true King has come!

Call to Prayer

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isa. 52:7)

Scripture Reading

Read the following passages and then spend a moment in quiet stillness before God.
Readings: Psalm 25:1, 16-22 and Isaiah 9:2, 6-7


Read again, perhaps out loud…how has God’s Word moved you? Ponder and meditate what has connected with your heart or mind…pray to God what it is that has moved you today…turn your thoughts to God and quietly enjoy being with him.

Free Prayer

  • Pray for fellowship with the coming Jesus
  • Pray for spiritual renewal and refreshment


Wonderful Counselor and mighty God, I celebrate your coming to save, becoming a servant, and being made in human likeness. While it’s easy to believe this was really good camouflage, I rejoice that this was no disguise but your delight. Quiet me with your love that knows the vulnerability of human life—you’ve been through it all, taking to yourself a real human nature with all its weaknesses, all but the sin. Amen. (prayer based on the Belgic Confession, Question 18).

*Prayer borrowed from Philip Reinders’ Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year


Advent begins in the dark. Literally. It is the darkest time of the year. Advent, which begins our church calendar, begins facing this darkness. Advent comes to us as a gift of darkness, emptiness, and says – will you enter this period of waiting with me? Will you pause to remember and recognize your own emptiness and darkness – and practice longing for the light? These works of art invite us to enter into the wonder and waiting for the Light of the World to dawn on Christmas morn.

“A Prayer for the Third Sunday of Advent” by Scotty Smith

Some days our prayers are unadorned. The day’s troubles pile up and we pray simply for God to carry us through, or we intercede for another upon hearing devastating news.

But there are other days in the Christian Year when a well-crafted prayer, even when we’re not “feeling it,” can help to redirect and reshape our hearts and minds to what Christ has done, is doing, and will do because he’s promised to do it!

Prayer is meant to lead us into greater wonder at our God, and I pray that these words help to do just that.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. —John 1:14–16

Dear Lord Jesus, though there’s no Mary or manger, shepherds or angels in John’s account of your birth, there is most definitely you. You are the only star on the horizon in this nativity scene, and how you shine.

We praise you for becoming flesh and “tabernacling” among us in the fullness of time. Though equal to yet distinct from the Father, you didn’t consider your glory something to be tightly grasped or held on to selfishly. Rather, you emptied yourself by becoming a man—not just any ordinary man but a servant-man, the servant of the Lord, the second Adam—our Savior.

In your thirty-three years of incarnate life, you accomplished everything necessary for the redemption of your beloved Bride and the restoration of the world you love. We magnify and adore, worship and love you, Lord Jesus. What a wonderful, merciful Savior you are. You are so mighty to save and quick to redeem.

We should sing, “Joy to the World” year round, for you are presently ruling the world with your grace and truth—the grace and truth of which you are full. You are making the nations prove the wonders of your love, as the gospel runs from heart to heart and nation to nation.

From the fullness of your grace we keep receiving one blessing after another and one blessing on top of another: the gift of your imputed righteousness, the perpetual favor of God, your steadfast intercession and advocacy, citizenship in heaven, the work of the Spirit in our lives—the assurance that one day we will see you as you are and we will be made like you. Hallelujah, many times over! Joy to the world, indeed! We pray in your near and exalted name. Amen.

Prayer borrowed from Scotty Smith, Every Season Prayers: Gospel-Centered Prayers for the Whole of Life 


“Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (Ps. 27:14)