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Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent  

by Pamela C. Hawkins
Advent Spiritual Practice

Behold is an old-fashioned word we rarely hear these days. It's not in most modern translations of the Bible.

Yet Pamela Hawkins says this word softens the edges of her heart. "I cannot say this word without moving, without extending and lifting a hand, palm open, toward the object of my attention," she remarks.

Enter Advent this year with an attitude of curious expectancy and trustful anticipation. Linger for a while and pay close attention to the meaning of the season as you focus on a single word each week, pray the beautiful prayers and hymn texts, and try various forms of prayer.

You can follow all the spiritual practices Hawkins suggests or choose the ones that most capture your attention. The spiritual practices include

  • reflection
  • silence
  • prayer
  • reading scripture
  • reading or singing of hymn texts
  • Christian service and action

You will learn how to use the following prayer methods:

  • Praying with Images
  • Silent Prayer
  • Prayer Beads
  • Compline (Night Prayer)

Behold the Word with new eyes, new ears, a new heart, and a sense of new possibilities. Let Pam Hawkins encourage and help you behold the "news of great joy," Christ the Lord, who is coming to make all things new!

4-week study for individuals or small groups
Includes Leader's Guide

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-8358-1062-3
Publisher: The Upper Room
Imprint: Upper Room Books
Publication Date: 08/01/2011
Pages: 112
Dimensions: 8.5000 x 5.5000 x 0.2340

Pamela C. Hawkins is an author, artist, and pastor living in Nashville, Tennessee. She has written about the Christian spiritual life through prayers, liturgies, articles, small-group studies, and devotional books. At the heart of Hawkins's ministry is a love for the gospel, a commitment to make God's unconditional love extended to all people, and a desire to live a more prayerful life. Hawkins holds a Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological School, and is a regular retreatant at the Benedictine community of St. Meinrad Archabbey.


What a great resource for advancing the spiritual life Pam Hawkins has created! Douglas Steere used to say, “Prayer is, above all, attentiveness.” In this small book she not only structures for us a daily retreat during Advent and challenges us to respond to Advent's summons to pray, but she deftly entices us in this quest to pay attention to God in ways many of us may not have learned to pray—with images, silence, prayer beads, and compline (night prayer).

—E. Glenn Hinson
Senior Professor of Church History and Spirituality
Baptist Seminary of Kentucky
Georgetown, Kentucky

When I first heard Pamela Hawkins pray, I learned two things about her: she was both a fierce lover of the Word and of words. In *Behold!** she brings together her two loves. In doing so, she offers us a lavish and nourishing soul-feast for an Advent journey.
—Trevor Hudson
Pastor of Northfield Methodist Church, Benoni, South Africa
Author of Questions God Asks Us

The weeks leading up to Christmas Day can plunge us into a state of dazed busyness in which the stunning story of Christ’s birth is obscured by overly familiar traditions and commerce-driven expectations. In these thoughtfully chosen and carefully integrated daily prayer practices, Pamela Hawkins provides us with a simple yet rich means of regaining our spiritual sight. As we learn with her help to see anew the wonder, beauty, and challenge of God-with-us, we will find on Christmas morning that we have already received gifts far beyond what we could ask for or even imagine.
—John S. Mogabgab
Founding Editor
Weavings: A Journal of Christian Spirituality

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