Advent Prayers – Dec. 16

The Christmas season is a reminder that we are not alone, God has entered this world to suffer with us, and overcome the darkness. All are invited to be his poeple and he will plant in our the seed that becoems the light of the world.

This is my prayer of hope, knowing that Jesus Christ is present with us.

Let’s open our ears to hear.

In our world, where we hear as much bad news as we want to hear, we look for hope outside of ourselves.

In our world where we know people are dyeing on the other side of the city due to unfair, injust, or abusive things, we look for diving guidance outside of our own capacity to bring change.

In our world where our homes become places of tension rather than places of rest, we long for your light in our darkness.

In our world where few faithfully claim to walk with a loving Creator because their picture of the Creator is angery and judgmental…. Jesus lead us in treating others as we would want them to treat us. We antisipate in faith and we look for hope.

 

Longing for light we wait in darkness.

Longing for truth, we turn to you.

Make us your own, your holy people,

light for the world to see.

 

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light! Shine in your church, gathered today.

 

Longing for peace, our world is troubled.

Longing for hope, many despair.

Your word alone, has power to save us.

Make us a living voice.

 

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.

 

Longing for food, many are hungry.

Longing for water, many shall thirst.

Make us your bread, broken for others,

shared until all are fed.

 

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.

 

Longing for shelter, many are homeless.

Longing for warmth, many are cold.

Make us your building, sheltering others,

walls made of living stone.

 

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.

 

Many the gifts, many the people,

Many the hearts, that yearn to belong.

Let us be servants to one another,

making your kingdom come.

 

Christ be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness.

Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today….

 

As we take in a breath, the air you created, with our lungs, Lord, help us to be filled with your Spirit as well. Your spirit is only of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfuness and self control….

Make us the people who embody your loving service into every neighbourhood your followers are present.

The poem is “Longing for Light” By Bernadette Farrell. 1993.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 12


Invitation to Praise

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Song of Praise

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation. 

Song Link “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” 

In the light of the morning, Lord: tune our hearts to sing your praise. 

Psalm 65:5 –8 

Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation: O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away. You make fast the mountains by your power: they are girded about with might. You still the roaring of the seas: the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples. Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs: you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy. 

In the light of the morning, Lord: tune our hearts to sing your praise.

Invitation to Discipleship

Isaiah 7:1 –9 

In the days of Ahaz (Jotham’s son and grandson of Judah’s King Uzziah), Aram’s King Rezin and Israel’s King Pekah (Remaliah’s son) came up to attack Jerusalem, but they couldn’t overpower it.

When the house of David was told that Aram had become allies with Ephraim, their hearts and the hearts of their people shook as the trees of a forest shake when there is a wind. But the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the channel of the Upper Pool, by the road to the field where laundry is washed, and say to him, ‘Be careful and stay calm. Don’t fear, and don’t lose heart over these two pieces of smoking torches, over the burning anger of Rezin, Aram, and Remaliah’s son. Aram has planned evil against you with Ephraim and Remaliah’s son, saying, “Let’s march up against Judah, tear it apart, capture it for ourselves, and install Tabeel’s son as its king.” But the Lord God says: It won’t happen; it won’t take place. The chief of Aram is Damascus; the chief of Damascus is Rezin (in sixty-five more years Ephraim will be shattered as a nation); the chief of Ephraim is Samaria; and the chief of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you don’t believe this, you can’t be trusted.’”

Luke 22:31 –38 

“Simon, Simon, look! Satan has asserted the right to sift you all like wheat. However, I have prayed for you that your faith won’t fail. When you have returned, strengthen your brothers and sisters.”

Peter responded, “Lord, I’m ready to go with you, both to prison and to death!”

Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster won’t crow today before you have denied three times that you know me.”

Jesus said to them, “When I sent you out without a wallet, bag, or sandals, you didn’t lack anything, did you?”

They said, “Nothing.”

Then he said to them, “But now, whoever has a wallet must take it, and likewise a bag. And those who don’t own a sword must sell their clothes and buy one. I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in relation to me: And he was counted among criminals. Indeed, what’s written about me is nearing completion.”

They said to him, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”

He replied, “Enough of that!”

In the light of the morning, Lord: tune our hearts to sing your praise. 

Prayers for Others

Paschasius Radbertus, a ninth-century Benedictine, wrote, “The apostles took every care not to be drawn from the right path. They kept watch, observing the universal precepts their master had given to his disciples so as to be ready when he came again. Consequently we must always be on the lookout for Christ’s twofold coming, the one when he comes day after day to stir our consciences, and the other when we shall have to give an account of everything we have done. He comes to us now in order that his future coming may find us prepared.” 

Prayers for Others 

Our Father…

Walking with Jesus Daily

With each new day, help us, Lord, to make our lives a hymn of constant praise to you. Teach us that the sweetest song is stirred when our hands are open in generosity and our feet are quick to bring the good news of your reconciling love to rich and poor alike. Amen. 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec 11


In 1981 scores of Salvadoran troops from the US-trained Atlacatl Battalion occupied the town of El Mozote in rural El Salvador, interrogating its citizens about the whereabouts of guerilla troops suspected to be in the area. Though the residents of El Mozote, many of them born-again evangelicals, were known to be neutral in the conflict between the Salvadoran government and the FMLN resistance, nearly one thousand men, women, and children were systematically killed in the largest massacre of modern Latin American history. 

Invitation

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. 

Song of Praise

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. 

Song “I Want Jesus to Walk with Me” [Click Link]

Rouse yourself! Come and see!: Save us, God, from the enemy. 

Psalm 59:1 –5 Rescue me from my enemies, O God: protect me from those who rise up against me. Rescue me from evildoers: and save me from those who thirst for my blood.

See how they lie in wait for my life, how the mighty gather together against me: not for any offense or fault of mine, O Lord. Not because of any guilt of mine: they run and prepare themselves for battle. 

Rouse yourself, come to my side, and see: for you, LORD God of hosts, are Israel’s God. 

Rouse yourself! Come and see!: Save us, God, from the enemy. 

Call to Discipleship

Isaiah 6:1–13 

In the year of King Uzziah’s death, I saw the Lord sitting on a high and exalted throne, the edges of his robe filling the temple. Winged creatures were stationed around him. Each had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew about. They shouted to each other, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of heavenly forces!

All the earth is filled with God’s glory!”

The doorframe shook at the sound of their shouting, and the house was filled with smoke.
I said, “Mourn for me; I’m ruined! I’m a man with unclean lips, and I live among a people with unclean lips. Yet I’ve seen the king, the Lord of heavenly forces!”
Then one of the winged creatures flew to me, holding a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips. Your guilt has departed, and your sin is removed.”
Then I heard the Lord’s voice saying, “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?”
I said, “I’m here; send me.”
God said, “Go and say to this people:
Listen intently, but don’t understand;

    look carefully, but don’t comprehend.

Make the minds of this people dull.

    Make their ears deaf and their eyes blind,

    so they can’t see with their eyes

    or hear with their ears,

    or understand with their minds,

    and turn, and be healed.”

I said, “How long, Lord?”
And God said, “Until cities lie ruined with no one living in them, until there are houses without people and the land is left devastated.” The Lord will send the people far away, and the land will be completely abandoned. Even if one-tenth remain there, they will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, which when it is cut down leaves a stump. Its stump is a holy seed.

Luke 22:14 –30 

When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles joined him. He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” After taking a cup and giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. I tell you that from now on I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom has come.” After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup after the meal and said, “This cup is the new covenant by my blood, which is poured out for you.
“But look! My betrayer is with me; his hand is on this table. The Human One goes just as it has been determined. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays him.” They began to argue among themselves about which of them it could possibly be who would do this.
An argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be regarded as the greatest.
But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. So which one is greater, the one who is seated at the table or the one who serves at the table? Isn’t it the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
“You are the ones who have continued with me in my trials. And I confer royal power on you just as my Father granted royal power to me. Thus you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Rouse yourself! Come and see!: Save us, God, from the enemy. 

Prayers for Others

The inscription on a memorial in El Mozote’s town square reads, “They did not die, they are with us, with you, and with all humanity.” 

Prayers for Others 

Our Father…

Walking With Jesus in Daily Life

Lord, we give thanks for the faithful who have gone before us. Strengthen us by their witness of courage and help us live lives that might encourage those who long for the gift of faith. Amen. 

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 10

images-5

Thomas Merton (1915 –1968)

Thomas Merton pursued the ideals of pleasure and freedom in early adulthood only to reject them as an illusion and embrace a life of prayer and silence as a Trappist monk. His 1949 conversion story, The Seven Storey Mountain, was a surprise bestseller, introducing millions of modern people to the gifts of monasticism. A mentor to many activists in the Catholic peace movement, Merton became a prophetic voice for peace and nonviolence in the twentieth century, despite the fact that his “political” writings were censored by his order. Convinced that contemplative life must engage the world, he prepared the way for a new monasticism.

Invitation to worship

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Song of Praise

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Be Thou My Vision”

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Psalm 54:1 –6

Save me, O God, by your name: in your might, defend my cause.

Hear my prayer, O God: give ear to the words of my mouth. For the arrogant have risen up against me, and the ruthless have sought my life: those who have no regard for God. Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life. Render evil to those who spy on me: in your faithfulness, destroy them. I will offer you a freewill sacrifice: and praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.

Call to Discipleship

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Isaiah 5:13 –17, 24 –25

13 Therefore, my people go into exile since they didn’t understand—
   their officials are dying of hunger;
   so many of them are dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore, the grave[c] opens wide its jaws,
   opens its mouth beyond all bounds,
   and the splendid multitudes will go down, with all their uproar and cheering.
15 Humanity will be humiliated;
   each person laid low,
   the eyes of the exalted laid low.
16 But the Lord of heavenly forces will be exalted in justice,
   and the holy God will show himself holy in righteousness.
17 Lambs will graze as if in their pasture;
   young goats[d] will feed among the ruins of the rich.[e]

Therefore, as a tongue of fire devours stubble,
   and as hay shrivels in a flame,
       so their roots will rot,
       and their blossoms turn to dust,
   for they have rejected the teaching of the Lord of heavenly forces,
       and have despised the word of Israel’s holy one.
God’s powerful hand
25 This is why the Lord’s anger burned against the people:
   he extended his hand to strike them,
   the mountains trembled,
   and their corpses lay in the middle of the streets like dung.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
   God’s hand was still extended.

Luke 22:1 –13

22 The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. 2 The chief priests and the legal experts were looking for a way to kill Jesus, because they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve. 4 He went out and discussed with the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard how he could hand Jesus over to them. 5 They were delighted and arranged payment for him. 6 He agreed and began looking for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them—a time when the crowds would be absent.


7 The Day of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John with this task: “Go and prepare for us to eat the Passover meal.”

9 They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”

10 Jesus replied, “When you go into the city, a man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him to the house he enters. 11  Say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guestroom where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 12  He will show you a large upstairs room, already furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They went and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

Behold, God is my helper: it is the Lord who sustains my life.

Prayers for Others

Thomas Merton wrote, “The monk does not come to the monastery to ‘get’ something which the ordinary Christian cannot have. On the contrary, he comes there in order to realize and to appreciate all that any good Christian already has. He comes to live his Christian life, and thus to appreciate to the full his heritage as a son of God. He comes in order that he might see and understand that he already possesses everything.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father

Walking with Jesus and Community

Lord, teach us to live as contemplative activists, trusting that your Spirit and your word provide all we need to dance with the angels on Jacob’s ladder between heaven and earth. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

Advent Prayers – Dec. 9

Invitation to worship

Martin de Porres (1579 – 1639)

Martin de Porres was a Dominican brother who is often celebrated by mixed-race people and those committed to ending racism and segregation. He was born in Lima, Peru, the son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave from Panama. Having grown up familiar with poverty and prejudice, he became a passionate advocate for those on the margins, establishing an orphanage and hospital for children, and becoming well known for his compassion. Martin is often depicted with a broom because he considered all work to be sacred and was committed to service and sacrifice.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Song of Praise

Come, let us sing to the LORD: let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.

Song “Servant Song”

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Psalm 48: 2– 7

Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion: the very center of the world and the city of the great King. God is in her citadels: he is known to be her sure refuge. Behold, the kings of the earth assembled: and marched forward together. They looked and were astounded: they retreated and fled in terror. Trembling seized them there: they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them. As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God has established her for ever.

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Call to Discipleship

Isaiah 5: 8 – 12, 18 – 23

Sayings of doom
Doom to those who acquire
house after house,
who annex field to field
until there is no more space left
and only you live alone in the land.
I heard the Lord of heavenly forces
say this:
Many houses will become total ruins,
large, fine houses,
with no one living in them.
Ten acres of vineyard
will produce just one bath,
and a homer of seed
will produce only an ephah.
Doom to those who wake up
early in the morning to run after beer,
to those who stay up late,
lit up by wine.
They party with lyre and harp,
tambourine, flute, and wine;
but they ignore the Lord’s work;
they can’t see what God is doing.

Doom to those who drag guilt
along with cords of fraud,
and haul sin as if with cart ropes,
who say, “God should hurry
and work faster so we can see;
let the plan of Israel’s holy one come
quickly, so we can understand it.”
Doom to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who present darkness as light
and light as darkness,
who make bitterness sweet
and sweetness bitter.
Doom to those
who consider themselves wise,
who think of themselves as clever.
Doom to the wine-swigging warriors,
mighty at mixing drinks,
who spare the guilty for bribes,
and rob the innocent of their rights.

Luke 21: 29 – 38

Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until everything has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.
“Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”
Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, but he spent each night on the Mount of Olives. All the people rose early in the morning to hear him in the temple area

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised: in the city of our God is his holy hill.

Prayers for Others

Cyprian of Carthage, a third-century North African bishop, said, “The Lord Christ did not want us to pray by ourselves in private or for ourselves alone. We do not say ‘My Father, who art in heaven,’ nor ‘Give me this day my daily bread.’ It is not for oneself alone that each person asks to be forgiven, not to be led into temptation or to be delivered from evil. Rather, we pray in public as a community, and not for one individual but for all.”

Prayers for Others

Our Father…

Walking with Jesus Daily

Lord, you have woven the threads of creation too finely together for any of us to exist as islands unto ourselves. Teach us to delight in your web of life and to know ourselves in community. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you; may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.