Prayer: Advent Time, or Anytime

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, December 2, 2015

cardinal tree

Prayer: Advent Time, or Anytime

Some people are visual people. Visual learners, and visual in communication, too. I tend to have a good bit of that visual sense in my makeup.

Fr. Nouwen spoke about the liturgical gospel reading of the day. Each day. He encouraged his readers to spend ten minutes with the gospel text in prayer. As I read the paragraph from Fr. Nouwen in today’s Advent reading, I was immediately aware of two mental images. Popped right into my head.

First, his mention that the gospel text can become “a painting on the walls of your inner room, the inner room that is your heart.” [1] This brought a sudden, crisp image to me. I saw my innards, my inside-person. I actually saw my chest open and deep within me was a small, inner room. My heart-room. I was sitting there in a chair, praying—meditating—reading the Gospel.

Second, Nouwen’s mention of what prayer is: “That’s prayer—to let God’s Word speak deep within you and tell you, ‘You are my beloved.’” [2] Now, this was not so much visual, as aural. (And kind of mixed with visual, but more shadowy, vague and misty, like it was fog on a Hollywood sound stage.)

(This is an aside. An editorial comment, perhaps. I know that God is way more than just a man or just male, but to me, God has a baritone voice. God may also have other voices. But in those rare times when I actually hear from God, it has been in in a baritone voice.)

What a comfort. What an encouragement. To have my God tell me “You are my beloved”—such an amazing thought. So personal, and so individual. God wants me to know this now, at Advent. And, I think God wants me to know this each and every day of the year, too.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 8.

[2] Ibid.

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