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An Advent Spiritual Practice: Welcome God into Your Heart

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Beth A. Richardson


You are invited to connect with God through a practice of welcoming God into your heart, naming your hopes, making your requests, rejoicing in God, and then closing with silence and gratitude.


Invitation: Welcome God into your heart, into your consciousness. Consciously identify barriers that might exist there and imagine those barriers being taken down. Open the doors and the windows to your spirit.

Naming: After you have issued the invitation, name what you hope for. What do you most need today? Hope? (“Hope of the world”); presence? (“Emmanuel: God is with us”); freedom from worry or conflict? (“Prince of Peace”); love? (“Loving God”); comfort? (“Gentle, Loving God”); wisdom? (“Wonderful Counselor”).

Petition: Make your request. Don’t be shy. God already knows your heart’s desire before you speak it. Write down your petitions, speak them aloud, or hold them quietly in your heart. Envision putting the requests into God’s presence (perhaps into God’s hands or placed in God’s light).

Praise: Rejoice; thank God for hearing your prayers. Sing [or read] the refrain of … [a] hymn of praise. Pray Psalm 150 or write a short psalm of praise.


Close the quiet time with silence, thanking God for God’s presence today.

God, thank you for being present with me in whatever way I need. Thank you for taking these desires, hopes, and concerns into your loving heart. You are my Comfort, my Rock, my Hope, my [fill in the name]. I pray all these things in the name of the Christ, Amen.



From Child of the Light: Walking Through Advent and Christmas by Beth A. Richardson. © 2005 by the author. Used with permission of Upper Room Books.

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Seeing young people, both men and women, participate in and write their testimonies at The Upper Room daily devotional writers’ workshop in Yangon, 2019, has been a highlight for me. The event and testimonies led to the publication of the first Lenten devotional in the Myanmar language. I truly believe that through The Upper Room ministry, the Lord will continue to equip people in Myanmar to grow and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

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