Let us pray…
God, have pity on our world
this cold and bitter day.
Remember all your creatures who need
a little warmth to make it through—
squirrels and possum and birds,
feral cats, old cars with dying batteries,
feet and hands scraping ice and shoveling snow,
the street folks who won’t or can’t come in.
Remember us too, holy One;
shelter us from winds of chance and change
that leave us blistered and raw.
Welcome us to the hearth of your care,
blanket us with mercy.
Enliven us with your kindness;
make us a church where the world takes heart,
the poor are seen and known and loved,
the sick are soothed and healed,
and people without homes can always find one.
Pour into our hearts this unceasing prayer:
that prophets of justice will be heard and heeded;
servants of the poor will be rewarded and vindicated;
healers and comforters will be blessed and blessed again;
and that God’s church will not be silent,
that we will never b e ashamed of the gospel,
that we will tell our children,
that we will picket and pray,
serve and praise, sing and do.
We pray for discernment and restraint
in our spending and giving this Christmas,
for the return of the holy to the center of our lives,
for the mystery of life to lodge in us anew,
and for God’s love to be, more than ever,
the best joy of our longing hearts.
We ask you to look with comforting relief
on everyone who finds this season hard and sad.
Renew hope in all hard-pressed, grieving,
discouraged, or despairing souls.
We pray too for people we love,
for people we worry about,
for sick and troubled members of this church,
for all our daily ministries,
for our enemies, although it is so hard;
and for all who have no one to pray for them.
Hear us, we ask you, in Jesus’ name;
for we are the kin of your child,
and he is the one who taught us
to be confident and pray: