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Advent Meditation: Tuesday, December 3, 2019

By Suzan E. Fenner


Psalm 5, 6, 10, 11  •  Amos 3:1-11  •  Matthew 21:12-22

The readings today are mostly about prayers – including prayers for healing and help, prayers for strength to perform miracles, and prayers for destruction of enemies.  In Matthew 21:22, Jesus tells his disciples “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” Does this mean that all of us are able perform miracles or get whatever we want if we just pray hard enough or we pray in the right frame of mind?  All of us have prayed for things we don’t get. We’ve prayed for healing in ourselves, loved ones or friends and physical healing hasn’t occurred.  What is Jesus really saying?

I’m not sure I can answer these questions, but I know that prayers have value.  If prayers are offered in the right frame of mind – in faith – seeking God’s will in our lives, then they can be a way to help us discern what God’s will is.  If we ask for healing, even if we don’t get the physical healing we request, we get the emotional and spiritual healing that God provides.  God’s timeframe may not be our timeframe.  It could be that not getting what we think we want is much better after all.  We must take time with God, study His word, listen for God to make His presence known in our lives, and have faith that His plan for our lives will be much better than we can imagine.

Oh God, help us to take time from our busy lives to feel Your love and presence and to discern what You desire for us. Amen.

Suzan E. Fenner
Former member, Southwest Board of Trustees
Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Dallas, Texas


Suzan E. Fenner After 35 years of legal practice and 30 years as Chair of the Employee Benefits Practice Group of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Dallas, Suzan retired in 2008 and has since focused attention on volunteer service for non-profit and religious organizations.  She served on the Board of Trustees of Seminary of the Southwest from 2009-2019.

Suzan has been married to Peter Fenner for 41 years.  Their daughter, Laura, and her husband, Andrew, live in Sydney, Australia and have a baby daughter.  Their son, Adam, and his wife, Lindsay, live near Dallas and have three children.


The Advent Meditations and Prayers are a gift to our seminary community and are made possible through gifts to our Annual Fund. Seminary of the Southwest appreciates the support of its friends, alumni, and the communities around the world that its graduates serve for the glory of God. This support ensures that Southwest, as an institution made of individuals dedicated to service to God and their fellow members of the body of Christ, can continue doing its part to build the body of Christ.


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