Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Prayer for Sunday, December 21, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Advent

O God,

We praise you because
you keep your promises.

We praise you because
you kept your promise
to send your Messiah and
our Savior into this world.

We praise you because
you keep your promise
that in Christ and through your Spirit
you are always with us.

We praise you because
you will keep your promise
to one day make all things
new through Christ.

Let our worship today
reflect our gratitude
for your promise keeping.

Let our pending celebration
of the birth of Jesus
strengthen our trust
that you keep your promises.

Let our lives be ones in which
we bear witness to you
by keeping our promises, too.

Amen.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Prayer for Saturday, December 20, 2014

Twenty-First Day of Advent

O God,

Thank you that Jesus came into the world to be the way, the truth, and the life. Thank you for showing such grace to us in giving us a beacon to guide us through the darkness that we so often encounter in this life.

As we each try to find our way, as we each seek the truth, and as we each try to live our life, let all of our trying and seeking be at their heart an openness to Jesus. By your grace let him be our beacon even when we forget to look for it.

Keep us mindful that a way must be followed, that truth must be sought, and that life must be lived.

Thank you that Jesus is with us in the journey and is also the goal of the journey.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Amen.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Prayer for Friday, December 19, 2014

Twentieth Day of Advent

O God,

Thank you for the spirit of anticipation that the Season of Advent brings to us.

We anticipate the coming of Jesus to Bethlehem’s manger.
We anticipate the coming of Jesus in his glory.
We anticipate the coming of Jesus to us here and now.

Cause our anticipation to be as right-spirited and as right-minded as it can be.

Let us anticipate Jesus’ coming more for your sake and for others’ sake than for our sake.
Let us anticipate Jesus’ coming as an opportunity for service rather than as a hope for escape.
Let us anticipate Jesus’ coming with eyes open to whatever you are going to do rather than with minds closed by our preconceived notions.
Let us anticipate Jesus’ coming through our effort to make things better while we wait for him to make things right.

Form our anticipation into a waiting that trusts, that serves, and that loves.

Amen.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Prayer for Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nineteenth Day of Advent

O God,

Thank you for coming to us where and as we are.

Help us to be aware of and open to your presence; help us to cultivate a life of prayer so that we will always be aware that you are with us and will always be ready to welcome you when you come to us in new and unexpected ways.

Remove from us any fear, any guilt, any anxiety, or any other factors that make it difficult for us to believe that you come to us and to know that you are with us.

Let our increasing assurance of your presence lead us both to rest better in you and to live more boldly for you.

Amen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Prayer for Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eighteenth Day of Advent

O God,

Thank you that your Son came to Earth as the Prince of Peace.

Let his presence in us turn us more and more into channels for and instruments of your peace.

The world is so full of violence that grows out of anger, fear, hatred, and vengeance; so many people are caught up in a cycle in which violence is responded to with violence. Help those of us who worship you, who follow your Son, and who are empowered by your Spirit to develop a spirit that leads us to a different and better way; help us to live lives that show the world what it means to respond to wrongs with forgiveness and to respond to evil with love.

Thank you that Jesus came to disrupt the cycle of vengeance and violence; help us to walk in his way and to continue his work for his sake, for our sake, and for the world’s sake …

Amen.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Prayer for Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seventeenth Day of Advent

O God,

Some of our friends and family members—maybe some of us—feel all alone.

Some of our friends and family members—maybe some of us—feel like no one understands.

Some of our friends and family members—maybe some of us—feel unknown and unloved.

Please open their hearts—please open our hearts—to your presence.

Please help them—please help us—to be present with each other.

Help us to know that as long as you are there—and you always will be there—we are never alone.

Give us friends—and help us to be friends—whose commitment is based on your grace and love.

Cause our friends and family members—cause us—to know that we are never alone, that we are always understood, and that we are always known and loved. And help us to relate to one another in ways that will help us all to know and never to forget …

Amen.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Prayer for Monday, December 15, 2014

Sixteenth Day of Advent

O God,

Thank you for coming to us!
Thank you for being with us!

May your coming to us and your presence with us have all of the influence on us that they can possibly have.

Where we need encouragement, encourage us.
Where we need challenge, challenge us.
Where we need comfort, comfort us.
Where we need conviction, convict us.
Where we need instruction, instruct us.
Where we need boldness, embolden us.
Where we need enlivening, enliven us.

Thank you for coming to us!
Thank you for being with us!

May your coming to us and your presence with us have all of the influence on us that they can possibly have.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Amen.