Advent Book Club Day 13

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

Psalm 23:1-4,6

Nouwen challenges us to listen today. To really listen.  Like Claire, I am a little confused by the link from there to the well-known words of Psalm 23.  He says that if we truly pray the first line – that we shall not want anything but our Lord – then our hearts will be able to listen to God. And presumably not be distracted by our heads making shopping lists, to do lists, wondering if we left the iron on…

I’ve posted on day 7 about being easily distracted and needing time to focus. I get the feeling I’ll be coming back to this more times before Christmas comes. Lord, I pray that you will come to me, fill me with your love, and fill me with love for you. Help me when you do to close out that which distracts so I can focus on you. Maranatha.

Today’s action is to memorise a prayer that will be helpful in times of trouble.  I guess that means I need to find a new prayer and memorise that.  In the meantime, one of my favourites from the traditional service of Compline that fits the bill:

Be present, O merciful God,
and protect us through the silent hours of this night,
so that we who are wearied
by the changes and chances of this fleeting world,
may repose upon thy eternal changelessness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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