a prayer for Advent

My soul doth magnify the Lord (Luke 1:46).

I’ve been talking to my soul lately, asking it to keep pace with Mary’s magnificent declaration. Like her, I want my soul to amplify Jesus. I want my soul to make him bigger … more obvious to those around me.

But it’s hard. The trying times talk my soul into other amplifications—an alternate focus that sheds light on the struggles instead of light on the Savior. The everyday stressors are often given a place of prominence in my thought-life, thereby taking up habitation within my heart. And what grows there grows elsewhere.

Inward to outward.

Better be careful what gets in … right? If you and I want to sing alongside Mary this Advent season, then we’d better take note of our empty, inward spaces. They are fertile soil for wandering stressors.

Resentments.
Disappointments.
Discouragements.
Frustrations.
Expectations.

Whatever is keeping you awake at night is what is growing in your soul. It can be an ugly and frightful declaration come morning’s light.

Look in the mirror. What does it say? My soul doth magnify _______________________.

In this season of life, I am ever mindful of the role that my soul plays in God’s kingdom development. Many days, I fall short of my calling. My soul doesn’t always magnify the King. On those days, I kick myself a thousand times over, beat up my soul until it’s bloodied by untruth. I bet I’m not alone. Why?

Because as Christians we understand (and are often enlivened by the fact) that our souls are designed to house the magnificent. That inside each one of us there is an extraordinary capacity to hold the burgeoning, holy-kingdom that cannot be fully explained in words, only magnified by expression. By attitudes. By generosities of the heart that exceed what’s customary … what’s expected.

When our souls do magnify the Lord, there isn’t room within for lesser soul-growth. The Lord’s great light fills a soul to overflow and burns a candle brightly where shadows once reigned. This is why I pray Mary’s prayer and sing her song and paste a sticky note to my desk to remind me of this deep desire. I want a soul filled with Jesus, and I want him to fall out of me and on to my students each day.

What a magnificent thought! What a magnificent agenda! What a magnificent trust!

This is who we are. Jesus magnifiers. May your soul and mine be so heartily inclined this Advent season. Thus, I prayerfully sing this thought tonight to the only One who can make it happen …

Soul … magnify Him! Amen. So be it.

Peace for the journey,

PS: One of the brightest souls out there is my friend, Melanie Dorsey. Her light shines brightly for Jesus. I’m giving away a set of her watercolor, note cards. Have you checked out her designs?  Leave a comment with this post, and your name will be entered into the drawing. The deadline to enter is next Sunday, December 6th, 6:00 PM.

17 Responses to a prayer for Advent

  1. Once again Elaine, you have obviously taken a peak in to my mind and have seen exactly what in am struggling with. Since my kids are grown now, Christmas is just not what it used to be for me. Honestly, I wouldn’t even care if we just skipped right over it. I tire quickly with all of the hustle and bustle and find it very difficult to get in the “spirit”. Maybe, as you have said, my soul is searching for more. Thanks for the encouragement to remember my purpose and our call to Magnify Him, not only at Christmas time, but every day in those places He has placed us to be an influence. Blessings my friend!!!

    • I hear you, Lori. I pray you find little ways to celebrate the gift of Jesus this season. Time with friends, unexpected laughter, a hot coffee along the way – well, this is God’s peace to you in this time. It will be enough. He is always enough. Let the rest go, friend, and rest in the safety of our Father’s great love for you. Love to the Bratcher clan!

  2. I needed this post, friend…I read most of it through tears. Thank you so much for the gentle nudge to my spirit. You are such a blessing to me.

    Love you.

    • Ditto a thousand times over. You don’t know how many times God has used your light to fan into flame my faith. Love you, sister!

  3. Oh Elaine, you are so right. Whatever is keeping us awake at night is what is growing in our soul! That is a powerful sermon. Thank you for the reminder. I’ve had a few things trying to keep company with my soul in recent weeks. so thankful that Jesus is more than enough to fill up my soul. Love you, my friend. Thank you so, so much for the card you sent to me. Words cannot express how deeply it touched my heart and soul. Thank you.

    • My heart’s been heavy for you in recent days, friend. Grieve in the safe arms of Jesus. He loves you so!

  4. You know, Elaine, when you talked about what keeps one up at night, and then had that fill-in-the-blank sentence, this is what leaped to my mind. Way, way too often my soul doth magnify fear. Oh, dear Lord, I do not want anything to supplant you. And certainly not fear.

    Thank you, Elaine, for giving me much to ponder on this whole idea of magnifying. I’m going to be paying more attention to what my soul pays attention to.

    GOD BLESS!

    • Fear is a peace-stealer. Guilty a million times over. I spent the entire night, last night, pacing the floor, bound up in fear until I prayed it through – for faith to replace fear. Eventually, faith won out, and I was able to get about an hour’s sleep before the alarm buzzed. Thanks for weighing in, Sharon. Blessed Advent walk!

  5. This post has helped me get more into the spirit of advent. Thanks once again for sharing your heart. And I’d love to win these cards! 🙂

  6. Elaine, visiting from Crown of Beauty site and so glad I did. I think you have written so many of our hearts. The battle heats up as we press toward the high calling of God. Our enemy cannot take our soul, he only wants our joy so we will not be affective in this world of lost souls. Thanks for the honest words and encouragement.

    • Glad to see you here, Betty! Be encouraged. Bethlehem is just around the corner. Tread easily and peacefully to the manger this year. Shalom.

  7. I love your honesty and humility, that is also one of the reasons why I feel so connected with you. Because you share your heart so readily with us your readers… Like you it is my desire to magnify the Lord with my thoughts, words, and actions. Not always an easy thing to do. This post is a beautiful encouragement to my heart… Shalom, dearest friend. You are God’s gift to me… Love, Lidia

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