Treasure all these words and ponder them in your heart

Prayer is a two-way conversation.

Or, at least, it should be.

Earlier this week, I walked over to the church (the one I attend, not the one I live in), unlocked the door, turned on the lights for the Christmas tree and waited.

I had planned a group meditation, which I typically do with a small group of women on the first Monday of the month. Group meditation has proven health benefits, so it’s something I believe is important for me and for everyone else. This month, though, I did a poor job of promoting it and making sure people knew it was happening. And, well, it’s December. People are busy.

No one showed up.

But I received a gift anyway, even if it wasn’t the gift of meditating with a group. I sat in the pew of the big empty, very quiet church all by myself. The lights from the Christmas tree illuminated the darkened space with beauty and peace.

One of my stepson’s favorite holiday traditions is to admire his lighted Christmas tree at night. As I sat in the church sanctuary admiring the tree someone else took the time to decorate, I thought of my stepson’s tradition.

I also thought of the Virgin Mary. After she gave birth to Jesus and a bunch of shepherds showed up and said they were sent to the stable by a heavenly host of angels, it says in Luke, “Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.” So the mother of God, too, spent a little time meditating during the Christmas season. Good role model.

By gazing on that Christmas tree by myself in the quiet church, I got the unexpected opportunity to ponder the miracle described in the Christmas story. No TV. No phone notifications. Nobody demanding my attention. I could just be. And listen.

All of the prayers I write for Bell Tower Prayer have words. I write prayers of praise and petitions and intercessions and gratitude lists, but the space to listen must be created by one who prays. We don’t have to fill every lull in our conversations with God. Sometimes, we only need to create some space to hear God speak.

We have two weeks before the “big day” we call Christmas. Whatever else you have going on in this time, I wish for you a few minutes–even just 20 uninterrupted minutes–to meditate. To treasure all these words. To ponder. To listen.

May you find the gift of quiet this holiday season.

That said, I think a few choice words might inspire you to listen to God, too. If you’re interested in receiving a custom prayer in your In Box every morning, Bell Tower Prayer is here for you. Subscribe below.

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