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?
Call to Prayer
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Lord God, as we prepare our house for the coming Christmas season, we would also prepare our hearts for the returning Christ. You came once for your people, O Lord, and you will come for us again.
Though there was no room at the inn to receive you upon your first arrival, We would prepare you room here in our hearts and here in our home, Lord Christ. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
Advent Reading Plan
During Advent this year we are using the He Reads Truth and She Reads Truth Advent Devos. Readings in this plan will cover the whole of Scripture and directly point us to Christ. We will resume our OPC|M Daily Reading Plan on December 26.
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guide to journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 11
Luke 11 begins with a familiar prayer in which our parable this week is set. Read the passage and then read Michael Card’s helpful summary of Jesus’ prayer:
“If you want a window into the personal prayer life of Jesus, the Gospel of Luke is the best place to begin. When you look through the various panes of the pages of his Gospel, you will see Jesus staying up all night to pray on several occasions (for example, Lk 5:16). At every turning point, whether it was choosing the Twelve (Lk 6:12-16) or preparing for the night of the transfiguration (Lk 9:28), Luke tells us that events happened as he was praying. When Jesus angrily tears up, for the second time, in the marketplace in the temple court, Luke tells us that the real reason for Jesus’ emotion is his desire that the Gentiles have a quiet place to pray (Lk 19:46). More than any other Gospel, Luke paints us a picture of Jesus on his knees.
You would expect, then, that we would actually get to hear Jesus praying again and again as the story of his life unfolds. But being the great storyteller that he is, Luke forces us, for eleven long chapters, to wait impatiently for that precious moment when we finally get to actually hear Jesus pray. It has been a long, long wait, and Luke understands that we, like the Twelve, simply can’t wait any longer. When his disciples finally say, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples,” we are so relieved and happy that they asked. Back in Luke 5:33, the Pharisees noted that Jesus’ disciples do not pray like John’s disciples do. Now we have a chance to witness what is different.
It is just then that we are confronted with the same “problem” with which everyone who comes close to Jesus is confronted. He always fails to meet your expectations. He almost never gives people what they expect. In fact, he almost never gives what they ask for; instead, he gives what we should have asked for, whether we want it or not. (He loves us so much that he is willing to risk our not liking him in order that we might learn to really love him.) The same is true when Luke finally gets around to letting us hear Jesus pray. It is not what we think we wanted to hear.
The Pharisees or other religious leaders of that day (and ours) would have provided a long, impressive prayer, filled with illusions to the Torah and to the rabbinic traditions. They would have used strictly religious language and multisyllabic words. (In fact, Jesus gives us a picture of such a person in Lk 18:9-14.) But Jesus knows that kind of prayer is not what we need.
Instead, when his disciples finally ask, Jesus provides a prayer—the shorter form of which appears only in Luke—that can be spoken in a single breath…
Jesus teaches us that what we ask for in prayer is rarely what we need. We usually ask for provision, when the God who knows how to give good gifts is ready to give us his presence through the Holy Spirit. And so the prayer Jesus gives us, which can be spoken in a single breath, is rooted in the request for his breath—for his Spirit.”
Evening Prayer of Examen
- Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
- Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
- Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
Return O my soul to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (Psalm 116:7)