This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.
Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen(Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/prayers_Advent)
Not much else to say…we have met the enemy, and they are us.
For Victims and Perpetrators of Injustice
(From “Prayers for Justice and Peace”)
For all those who have fallen victim to hatred and inhumanity, for those loved ones who are left behind to mourn, for the souls of those whose hearts are cold, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who are being born into this world of conflict and violence, for women and mothers who suffer needlessly, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all those who have been forced into unemployment, who long to return to work, for all those who struggle to support their families, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the soldiers who are misguided in thinking that their bullets will bring about peace, for those who feel called to conscientiously object to military orders, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the children who cry in their beds at night and wonder “what have I done?”
For the mothers and fathers who must try to explain the unexplainable, Lord, hear our prayer.
For all the children who have died before their time, for the soldiers who allow their uniform to strip them of their humanity, for the healers who are denied the opportunity to use their gifts, Lord, hear our prayer.
For the redemption of souls of both victim and perpetrator, for those who commit themselves to the forgiveness of sins, Lord, hear our prayer. AMEN.
Lord, I come to you this Sunday morning knowing that you are my rock and my strength. I recognize that Your love and Your grace sustain me. Through your love and your mercy I have salvation. I have been redeemed and set free from the bondage of fear through the sacrifice of your Son on the cross.
Yet, when I look around me I see so much fear, so much hatred, so much bitterness. I see uncontrolled rage. I see so much of the world You came to save still enslaved in sin and darkness.
My prayer, this morning, is for forgiveness. I know that so much of the pain that fills our world comes from our lack of true love and our shallow spirituality. I pray that the eyes of all of us who claim to follow Your Son would be opened. Touch our hearts anew with You love and acceptance. Let us realize as never before the true depths of Your love.
Take away our fear. Help us rest in Your love. Help us live alive, unafraid of the evil Your Son has already conquered. Grant us the courage to demonstrate your love in every situation and to rise above the fear and hatred that fills those who do not know You. Empower us to wage peace wherever we go, and allow Your love for the world, the entire world, shine through us. Amen
I praise you this morning, God. You alone are worthy of worship and praise, and so I pause to again give you glory and honor for your love, your mercy and your unending grace.
Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. Thank you for the grace of Jesus the Christ and for the explosive power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you for creating such a perfect world.
This morning I lift up all the victims of senseless violence. Be with the families of those recently killed in Paris, but be with those grieving families in other areas of the world, as well. families in Syria, in Yemen, in Uganda, in South Sudan, in Iraq , Afghanistan, and even here in the United States. Let every member of every family touched by violence feel your love and experience your peace that passes all understanding.
And Lord I would pray that you grant all your children that perfect love that casts out fear. Help us live as your children should live, unafraid of whatever life brings. We now live in an age of growing violence and terrorism. Grant us all the strength and blessing of faith and faithfulness that we might be beacons of hope and light in a world darkened by fear and hatred.
Allow each of us to live alive, fully sharing the love you have first given us. Help us to be agents of reconciliation in every relationship you have granted us. Empower us to speak love and peace in the face of fear, bigotry and hatred. Grant us the strength to be peacemakers in a world gone mad. And in the end, grant us the blessing of your eternal presence. Amen
God of mercy and justice, we praise you this perfect day for all the gifts you have given your children. We glorify your name for your sustaining grace and the everlasting love poured so freely into our lives. You have given us so much, and for everything we have and all that we are, we give you our thanks.
Our prayer this morning is for the grace to more fully respond to the love and grace you have first given us. Help us always remember, and always be aware that all we have comes from you.
We have been so richly blessed with material abundance. We have financial wealth unimaginable by most of our human family. We take solid shelter and good homes for granted in a world teeming with refugees and the homeless. Food security is never an issue for our families Instead, we complain about variety and search out ever newer and exotic meals. We spend without thought, and eat to excess in a world full of poor and hungry.
Forgive us, Lord, for our thoughtlessness. Forgive us for our lack of awareness. Forgive us for our continued misuse of the gifts so freely bestowed upon us. Forgive us for our lack of caring… and our lack of sharing.
Lord, open our eyes so that we might see our world through your eyes. Grant us compassion deep enough to bring us to our knees in true empathy with those of our family chained by poverty and hunger. Grant us the miracle-working power of your Holy Spirit to lift us above our self-centeredness, our selfishness and fears so that we might love the least of these among us enough to open ourselves fully enough to share not only all we have…but all we are. Lord, teach us this morning how to be generous, and to give as you have first given to us.
Grant us more generous hearts. Help us more fully reflect your love through our caring and our sharing. And let all we have been given be used to glorify you. Amen
Prayer for a Time of Hunger ~ from Bread for the World,
God our sustainer, we ask you to pour your powerful Spirit into
all who are empty this day: Fill the hearts of persons who are
troubled. Fill the minds of men and women who are confused.
Fill the stomachs of your children who are hungry. Fill the souls
of people who are feeling lost. Fill the lives of all who need you,
but do not know you. May your Spirit fill us all to overflowing,
dear Lord, and may we be inspired to share our abundance with
others, so that there will be no more empty hearts and minds,
stomachs and souls. We pray all this in the name of Jesus
Christ, who fills lives with your endless grace. Amen.