Prayer for Advent Watchfulness

One of the things I am constantly pointing out to visitors who come to look around Ballybeen, where Dundonald Methodist is based, is the beauty of the surrounding countryside. Despite the encroachment of housing estates up every hillside, there are green hills wherever you look... indeed the picture in the top left of this post is one of Scrabo Tower taken from the nearby Craigantlet hills, both of which can be seen from Ballybeen. If truth be told  the estate itself is very green, in the botanical NOT political sense of that word. Yet most people are blind to it most of the time, either so caught up in the business of everyday life that they don't take time to stop and look around them, or because there are so taken in by Ballybeen's reputation as a "loyalist" estate that they are focussed on the signs of that rather than the beauty of creation all around them... One of those days I'm going to have to take some photos to bear this out, or rather get someone who can take a decent photo to do so... because my attempts in the past have been appaling... and actually my point is borne out by the fact that despite an exhaustive trawl online, I couldn't find any scenic photographs taken from or of Ballybeen...

But it's a point well made in this advent season of waiting and watching... How often do we slow down or stop to take a look at the signs of God at work in the world? With that in mind here's a prayer that is appropriate for this season...

Lord open our eyes to your glory about us;
Open our eyes that we may see wonders;
Open our eyes and brighten our darkness.

Open our eyes to your word in creation;
Open our ears to your voice in the breeze;
Open our hearts to your word that brings life.

Open our eyes to the word that is written;
Open our ears so we hear what you say;
Open our hearts and write now upon them.
Shalom

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