Day 5 of the Pray-May Challenge: Pray Mary’s Prayer of Readiness

Welcome to Day 5 of our Pray-May Challenge! Today we follow the example of the mother of Jesus, who prayed, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

There is just something about this simple prayer of Mary which draws me in. Here she is, a young, soon-to-be-married Jewish girl, and she receives the most amazing and upsetting news possible.

A pregnant virgin. In a culture where shame will follow her all the days of her life, regardless of how much she might tell the story of her Spirit-derived conception.

ANGELICO, Fra Annunciation, (1437-46) PC: Wikipedia
Amazing news, yes–that God would choose her and that she would be the one to receive the world’s Messiah-King and the very Son of God. But deeply upsetting to every safe and simple plan her or Joseph had designed for themselves.

And yet, when the angel announces God’s plan through her pregnancy, her ready response is stunning: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38 NIV)

A prayer of readiness, a prayer of submission, a prayer of total trust.

A prayer rooted in who God is and who she is. A prayer of a person committed to what God wants to do in her and through her, even if it’s totally unexpected and terribly frightening.

I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.

That is our prayer for today. Here’s how I encourage you to pray it.

  1. If you don’t have it memorized already, write it down on a small card or a post-it note. Get it in front of your eyes and into your heart.
  2. Pray this prayer throughout your day today, as you are working, driving, gardening or cleaning up after lunch. Let it punctuate your day.
  3. And as you do, ask: What is the Word of God I long to see fulfilled in my life? Perhaps it is rooted in the prayers of Paul from day 2 or the Lord’s Prayer of day 3 or even St. Patrick’s Lorica of yesterday. Maybe it’s another promise that you’ve been holding on to, that you know is God’s will and desire for you.
  4. Also ask: What is an area in my life where I’ve been resisting or wrestling with God’s direction or desire? This prayer of Mary is an incredible prayer of submissive obedience, and we can move into God’s desire for us with this prayer on our lips.
  5. But the basic challenge for today is to simply pray: I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled. Pray it over and over again, letting it sink down deep into your mind and heart.

As you do, your own identity will deepen, as well as your trust in the One who calls you into his will and word. We are his servants, and he is activating his word in us, so that through us, his will can be done in the world.

Here’s my prayer for us today: Father, we are your servants. And today, as we pray the prayer of your servant Mary, may we embrace our identity as your dedicated servants. May we more fully trust that your Word–which never fails–will come to be fulfilled in our lives as we submit to you. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

 

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