An Advent Prayer

Read: Psalm 33

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD. (v. 5)

I remember the moment when an older, wiser Christian asked which psalm was my favorite to pray. I had no answer. Praying the psalms was an entirely new idea to me, but I decided to give it a try. After years of cultivating a prayer life rooted in my own words, it was hard to make the shift to praying the words of Scripture.

Through this practice, I have discovered that the Psalms allow me to prayerfully name the gap between God’s promises and my experience. Psalm 33, with its beautiful reminder of how God’s love is deeply interwoven with his vision for righteousness and justice, points to this gap. The earth is full of God’s steadfast love, but I lament that this is often hard to see. I join God in longing for justice to fill the earth, even as I name how broken the world continues to be. I hope that “all the inhabitants of the world [will] stand in awe of him!” (v. 8), even as I am aware of the need for us to continue to spread the good news of the saving work of Jesus Christ.

These hopes not yet realized turn this psalm into a beautiful Advent prayer as we remember that we can depend on God’s steadfast love to answer each and every longing we name until Christ comes again. —Kristen Deede Johnson

As you pray, ask God to help you remember that the steadfast love of God is the true source of our hope.

About the Author

Kristen Johnson

Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson is the Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Western Theological Seminary, and the Professor of Theology and Christian Formation.