Lord, Change Me and Make Us One
By Amy Thompson, Conference Lay Leader
As we enter the Advent Season, it is with anticipation that I find my Advent wreath. The green wreath with the skinny purple and pink candles continually leans no matter how hard I try to twist them into the holders! The wreath sits next to my many nativity scenes. I can remember as a child the excitement I felt when I was allowed to use the lighter to light the advent wreath! I remember the honor I felt when my mother and I were asked to share the reading for the lighting of the advent wreath during a Sunday morning worship service. The advent wreath still symbolizes for me four important themes that never lose their importance in our lives — hope, love, joy, and peace.
Four small words carry so much power in changing our world. How can we intentionally focus on hope, love, joy, and peace throughout the year? What practices might support each of us in maintaining space to focus on hope, love, joy and peace? Time spent reading scripture can be a practice. Investing time in a supportive small group can offer space for holding hope, love, joy and peace. Engaging in serving others can enhance hope, love, joy and peace. Prayer can be another practice that promotes hope, love, joy and peace.
In a recent gathering, Rev. David Gilmore shared a devotional that contained a breath prayer. A prayer that could assist us in finding the meaning of hope, love, joy and peace. In this broken world that we live in, we can all use prayer. In this hurting world, we can all use a focus that unites us. He lifted these ponderings … What kind of body would this body look like if this body took the time to pray with and pray for each other? What kind of body would this body become if this body took the time to pray with and pray for each other in the Missouri Annual Conference?
He issued a challenge that each person set aside five minutes each morning to offer a prayer of transformation. Inhale and fill your lungs with air. Say, “Lord, change me.” Exhale slowly. Say, “And make us one!” He encouraged us to offer this prayer in a spirit of expectation that our God will open our physical and spiritual eyes to see opportunities and engage with others.
The Advent Season is a time of preparing and waiting. Our faith teaches us to embrace a time of longing, hope and expectation.
I would say this prayer of transformation can offer hope, love, joy and peace. Let’s prepare ourselves to encounter a quiet space each morning, a space where we can offer this breath prayer during the Advent Season. Join me, the members of Mission Council and others from across the Conference in offering this breath prayer each morning for five minutes. If we pray this prayer with an expectation that God is at work … what might this body look like? What might this body become? How might you and I be changed?
May we unite in prayer this Advent Season so that our bodies might look and become different. May we unite in prayer this Advent Season so we can all experience hope, love, joy and peace.
Inhale and fill your lungs with air.
Say, “Lord, change me.”
Say, “And make us one!”