Finals and Christmas Break, Prayer and Advent

I am in the midst of studying for my semester’s finals that are to occur today and Thursday in the late morning and early afternoon. It is a stressful evening in light of this coming reality facing me. I feel that I have waited just a little too long to begin studying in earnest. I feel distracted at this present time almost to the point of not wanting to study at all.

I am basically in the same place in regards to school as I find myself much too often in my prayer life.

I have been remiss recently in my prayer life. I feel distracted when I pray. It is hard to correct this when one leaves oneself as little time as I do to prepare my heart for extended personal prayer time. I could blame school for this deficiency, but I know that that would be a lie. I am quite able to do many other things, besides school, that are unnecessary. Is my failure to pray in extended periods just a passing phase due to my flesh taking the opportunity of school as an excuse to withdraw from a conscious sustained period of time in the presence of God? May God have mercy on me and deliver me from this treason towards Him, bringing me into a closer prayer-soaked communion with Him.

I titled this post “Finals and Christmas Break, Prayer and Advent” because the answer to my problem in regards to finals is found in them being done, ushering in Christmas Break, giving me the rest that is almost close enough to touch which justifies the hard work and energy required to study now, and the answer to my prayer problem is to live in light of preparation for God’s Incarnation celebration at Christmas. If I believe my prayer life is going to change immediately then I am gravely mistaken. I need to learn the patience of Exiled Israel. The patience to wait on the Lord. Indeed, I have to live in hope of God coming to save me from my folly and my self-made exile-like circumstances. I have to, when all things seem hopeless, seek His face and wait with expectation of His miraculous shining into the darkness of my devotional life. I know that He is faithful and just to forgive me my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confess it. He will, when I wait on Him, teach me patience.

May God have mercy on me, delivering me from both finals and a parched soul.

May God restore to me the joy of my salvation.

On the basis of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection, and by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, I know my prayers are answered already. Amen.

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