March 24, 2023

Day 1 : The Baptism of Jesus | 12-Day Guided Prayer

Welcome to Day 1 of Guided Prayer

Note: This prayer meditation is first and foremost designed to be listened to, so we encourage you to listen to the audio as you read along.


Hey Church on the Move family,

My name is Casey. I’m a pastor of spiritual formation here at Church on the Move. Welcome to our 12-day guided prayer podcast.

Today is day 1.

Take a moment to prepare yourself to pray over the next few minutes by putting away distractions, setting aside mental to-do lists, and finding a place where for the next 10 minutes or so you can give yourself entirely to the task of prayer.

See yourself placing any worries or situations outside of your control at the feet of Jesus.

Let’s begin by praying a simple prayer.

If you find your mind wandering or it’s difficult to focus simply return to prayer by repeating this phrase. Take a deep breath, rest your thoughts on God and pray:

The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.

Our prayers over the next several days will be based on reflections from the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Starting with the baptism of Jesus found in Matthew 3:13-17:

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Take a few moments to imagine what it would have been like to be on the banks of the Jordan that day, witnessing the baptism of Jesus.

What was it like to be in the crowd? What would they have felt, heard, and seen?

Imagine the breeze against your face the wet packed mud under your feet, and people moving in close to see what’s going on.

Now, consider John the Baptist.

He knows that Jesus is the Messiah and Jesus wants John to baptize Him? From John’s perspective it should be the other way around! John probably felt a deep sense of inadequacy in that moment but Jesus is the one who calls him to participate in this heavenly ceremony.

Take a few moments to pray and ask Jesus if there is anything He is inviting you to that you have tried to refuse because of a sense of inadequacy or insecurity and then listen. Listen for His invitation in a fresh new way, an invitation not based on who you are but who He is.

Many scholars believe that the baptism of Jesus is where He is being publicly anointed as the long-awaited Messiah.

The Holy Spirit comes and rests on Jesus and God speaks from heaven, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” The Spirit resting on Jesus and the words spoken over Jesus go hand in hand. One is the indication of the other.

God’s presence with Jesus is the indication of His pleasure in Jesus. Here we see a depiction of heaven and earth meeting, a glimpse of what is to come. And because of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus we who are in Christ are given the same Holy Spirit. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit testifies to the deepest part of us that we are God’s beloved children. What a gift! Take some time to pray and ask God to make this real to you today.

To end our time today, let’s pray together.

As we’ve reflected on the baptism of Jesus our imaginations can’t help but be captured by the beauty of You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all present, all working, and not only that, but John being asked to play a part. How much more should we, who have the Holy Spirit, be expecting You to call us into participation with what You are doing in the world? Open our eyes to see what You are up to today. We are filled with gratitude and wonder that we stand before you as beloved children in whom you are well pleased.


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