The first priority in Archbishop Mark’s Apostolic Priorities for the Archdiocese of Brisbane, documented in With Lamps Ablaze, is Teaching Prayer. He says, “Often we urge people to pray but don’t really teach them how to pray… Now is the time to teach ways of prayer which are mature and all-embracing. Christian prayer begins not with speaking but with listening; and learning to pray is therefore learning to listen – to listen even to the silences of God. If all we do is speak, then in the words of Jesus we “babble like the pagans” (Matt 6:7). But if we speak after listening and in response to God who always has the first word, then we speak according to the mind of the Holy Spirit. That’s what we need to teach and learn. In the Gospel of Mark, we read that Jesus called the twelve apostles to himself, first of all, “that they might be with him” (3:14). This is where the mission starts: being with Jesus, which is what prayer is.”
Join us for our new weekly series, Let’s Pray, where we invite you to pray along with us. Each week we will invite you to pray a new prayer with us – maybe you don’t know what to pray, or want to pray along with someone, or want to practice your faith through prayer. Our Let’s Pray series is for everyone.
The time we have been waiting is here, the time has come for the baby to be born. So, please join Archbishop Mark to listen in the depths of our hearts, to see and encounter Our Saviour in this Christmas moment. Let’s pray.
- A Christmas Prayer
A Christmas PrayerAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
Christian prayer begins as a listening before ever it becomes a speaking. It begins with the ear before ever it comes to the lips. So as we enter into this moment of Christmas prayer, we listen. And we listen with the ears of the heart, we don’t just hear, we really do listen in a way that understands. That’s what it means to listen with the ears of the heart. And we listen to the words of the Gospel.
The time came for the baby to be born, and Mary gave birth to her first born, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them.
*Reflect in silence.*
So out of the silence of that night and of this moment, let us pray.
God of life. God of this night. Give us ears to hear your Word, your Word made flesh. The child who is God with us. We praise and bless You for this moment, when in the child You become one of us so that we may become part of Your life. Give us ears to hear not just the cry of the newborn child, but the eternal word that He is. And to hear it in the depth of our heart. Give us eyes to see Him not just once upon a time, but here and now. Because You, the God who takes flesh among us are with us forever. Not once upon a time, but here and now. So give us eyes to see you in this Christmas moment. Because then we, like the shepherds, will see the glory shining from the heart of darkness. To you we bring all the darkness of this world. But we know that from it there will be born the glory, the light. All of this we ask in the name of Jesus, who is the word made flesh. God with us forever and ever. Amen.