An Advent Prayer for Making Music to the Lord
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. Luke 1:46-50
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. Eph. 5:19
Dear Lord Jesus, as I meditate on Mary’s song, it occurs to me I’m more likely to lose my inhibitions singing Christmas songs than any other genre, and for good reason. Every Advent hymn, carol, and chorus I treasure—from your Word, in my hymnal, or on my iPod—propels me into hope and gratitude, and more hope and more gratitude. And when my heart is fueled by these twin graces, I cannot keep from singing—at least in my heart.
Jesus, thank giving us multiple grace-induced, Spirit-ignited, hope-drenched reasons to sing your praise. And thank you for raising up songwriters who capture our feelings, and give us a vehicle for expressing what we long to say to you.
Though Mary’s story is singularly unique, yet I join her Advent refrain today. I can sing her song. I must sing her song, for you’ve been so mindful of my humble, broken, sinful state. I have nothing to boast in but you, Lord Jesus. You came to me when I wasn’t seeking you. You are being formed in me as surely as you entered the world through Mary’s womb—O holy and glorious mystery.
I’m a blessed man because you’ve done great things for me, and you continue to do great things for me and in me. Holy is your name, Lord Jesus! I have no concern for what any generation may say about me. It’s enough to know what you say about me: That I’m yours—forgiven by you, righteous in you, beloved of you, and kept for you. Hallelujah, many times over!
Jesus, with Mary I can say, your mercy has been extended to my generation, and to me personally. Therefore, my soul glorifies you, and my spirit rejoices in you—my God and my Savior. As the gospel goes deeper into my heart, free me from all fears except the fear of the Lord; and liberate me to love others as you love me. So very Amen I pray, in your tender and triumphant name.