Sunday, December 7, 2008
Offered by Alice M. Trowbridge, Associate Pastor
Creator of the stars at night, the sun and the moon, the heavens and all the earth—O that you would tear open the heavens and come down and enter the lives of those who wait for you. We gather with gratitude and hope, ready now for your hand, like the potter to the clay, to reshape us and to guide our hearts and minds so that we too can prepare the way. We turn to you, O Lord, and we watch and wait for you to speak to us.
So come to us now, we pray, in the beauty of your church and into the company of the faithful throughout the ages, who saw the promise far off and by faith served and lived in its hope.
Come to us now, enter our hearts, so that we may be renewed by you and by the story that we long to hear again: that amid the cold winter, when the night was dark, you revealed your love for the world in the gift of a child and, though the world was full of brokenness and strife, love came down at Christmas.
Speak to us again of this love, dear Lord. Impart to us your truth and justice. Comfort your people, dear Lord—your people who are hungry, cold, without a home; those who are sick, lonely, or afraid; all of us living in these uncertain economic times; those in the midst of an unexpected transition; those who have lost a job; and those who have lost a loved one, those who face this Advent season with fearful or grieving hearts. Comfort your people, O Lord. Remind us to trust in your presence and grace. We pray for our brothers and sisters at war, for their families; we pray for the places where there is strife and discord; we pray for leaders of this nation and leaders of all nations. Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Amidst our doubts and fears, you remain constant, you the great shepherd of our souls. Strengthen us where we are weak and make firm our feeble knees, we pray. Grant us courage to cultivate what is good and to resist the temptations of our lesser instincts. Open our hearts to hear the sounds of hope beyond our ordinary realm of hearing, to the mystery and wonder of your love. Come, Lord Jesus, come; abide in us. Amen.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church