Sunday, December 12, 2010
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Gracious God, we gather to sing the songs and listen to the story because of the power of a promise. In the coming of Jesus Christ, we know that you care for us so deeply, you love us so much, that you came into the world to show us. You are not a God far away and unconcerned; you long to be with us and understand us; you celebrate with us when we rejoice; you hold us close when we are we are weak and alone; you stay with us in the darkness of the night; and with the light of each new day you promise us that you will never, never leave us; we can never be too far away from you.
As we eagerly await your coming, O God, we remember that there are many in our world who have little hope and encouragement, no star to follow, and no one to go before them. And for many in the world, this week, this month, this year are full of burdens too heavy to bear. So hear us as we pray for people who need your help. Comfort, comfort your people, O God.
We pray for those who are cold or hungry tonight, suffering on street corners and hiding under bridges to keep away from the wind. Poverty is too often the case in our city and in others, for the elderly and also for children. Help us to open our eyes to the needs of others and give generously when we are able to help.
We pray for the sick, for those who face this holiday season injured or under the darkness of cancer or threatened by illness, the cause of which they do not know. While some of us visit holiday parties, others lie in hospital beds, and we pray that they would not be alone. Help them to know that the light of Christ breaks into the world not just where candles and warm firelight dwell, but for places where the light seems all but gone.
We pray for our world and for everyday people within it. We pray for parents and children, teachers and students, soldiers in battlefields and their families who await their safe return. We pray for the jobless and for people who are struggling to make ends meet; we pray for people who struggle with addiction and depression and anxiety, for people who are lonely, and for those who think they have been forgotten.
May all of us remember your promise, Lord. Your promise is this for all who long for you: “The glory of the Lord shall come upon us, and all flesh shall see it together. . . The wolf shall lie down with the lamb and the leopard with the kid, and a little child shall lead them . . . and nothing shall be impossible for God.”
So remember us, Lord. And help us to remember you to each other. In this season of unreasonable hope, may we remind each other each day that light is coming into the world, that you are about to shatter the darkness, shining your light on Christ’s cradle until dawn breaks on a world in need. Grant us the hopefulness we need to hear your word and the confidence to believe it, and send us out in the world to give of ourselves, just as you give Christ to us. Amen.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church