ADVENT: Prayers and Other Resources

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION

(Before the reading of Scripture)

L: Let us pray.

Your Word is a fire

refining us for you, O God.

Speak to us now,

and fan the embers in our hearts.

Increase our faith to hear you

and our desire to obey what we hear.

We ask in the name of Jesus,

who listened to you always

with an open heart. Amen.

ADVENT RESPONSE OF FAITH

(Statement of Faith)

L: Let us declare our faith together.

We believe that the day is coming

when God’s grace will change the human heart,

and we shall live as one with every living thing.

We believe that the day is coming

when Christ’s compassion will fill the earth,

and no one shall do harm, be hurt, or feel alone.

We believe that the day is coming

when the Spirit’s freedom will unbind our souls,

and we shall live generous lives for each other

with a joy no circumstance can alter.

We believe this day is coming,

and we wait and work for it with steadfast hope,

for God has promised it, and God is faithful.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

 ADVENT PRAYER

You give us Advent, Lord,

And we are grateful and glad

To abide in your time,

Which is urgent, yet unhurried,

And pregnant with life.

You give us Advent, Lord,

And we are grateful and glad

To watch by your light,

Which is candid, yet hidden,

Our lamp for the way.

You give us Advent, Lord,

And we are grateful and glad

To rest in your love,

Which is pleasure, yet mystery.

And gift without price.

You give us Advent, Lord,

And we are grateful and glad

To receive your new hope,

Which is wholesome, yet fearsome,

And child-shaped on straw.

You give us Advent, Lord,

And with your grace

Let us keep it,

Abiding, watching, resting, receiving.

Let us keep it, with your help,

for our souls’ sake,

which you love,

and the sake of the world,

heart of your heart.

Amen.

PRAYER AT THE END OF ADVENT

Most gracious God,

Desire of every living thing

You have lighted our way in Advent

Candle by candle

Dispelling our gloom

And now four candles shine

The night is almost over

The Day is almost here

But not yet

Promise by promise

You have cleared our sight

with words from afar

Dreams, signs and wonders

And now the Word made flesh

Is almost appearing

But not yet

Grace by grace

You have kept us awake

Brightening our eyes of faith

And now we watch only a little more

Now on tiptoe

The one we waited for

Is almost here

But not yet

At the end of Advent

In the harder days of not quite yet

Look with compassion

On the pain of the joyless

the grief of the childless

the sorrow of the bereaved

for not all people enjoy the season

not every family embraces

not every womb conceives and carries

not every day dawns with the presence of those we love

not every story is full of angels

not every song is Glory!

As we tell over and over the story

Of your coming among us

Bind our hearts to the anguish of the poor

the suffering of the sick

the misery of the imprisoned

and keep us alive to the terrors of war

too easily forgotten, too easily accepted

Increase the joy of earth,

And help us relish with thankful hearts

every good thing that will be ours at Christmas

every pleasure and taste,

every sound and sight,

every touch and every memory.

so that in the delight of our bodies

and the thoughts of our minds

we will know and love you,

who visit us through every sense and pore.

More than anything, O God,

we ask again for Christ –

to meet his love, to know his goodness,

to experience his power, to be attracted to his way.

We ask for Christ—

to make the difference, to anchor our hearts,

to lead the way, to bring us home.

We ask for Christ – for cradle and cross,

for lullaby and lament, for life and death

and life made new in him.

In hope we pray,

the spirit of Christmas leaping within us

heartened by his almost visitation,

the words he taught us on our lips: Our Father….

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