First Sunday of Advent, November 30, 2014
Offered by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor
God, sovereign and generous, you command the rise and fall of nations; you call and choose many peoples; you weep when we harm one another, and you haunt every culture with your will for well-being. We praise you in astonishment, adore you in gladness, and thank you beyond words for who you are, what you do, how you never give up on us, and that you came all the way down to be with us.
Loving and gracious God, you are our potter and we are your clay. We pray that you shape us into earthen vessels that joyfully carry the treasure of your light that shines in the darkness. May our words and actions testify to the eternal hope we have in you—hope that lifts all from despair, provides strength in our weakness, comforts all when afflicted, ignites anger within us at injustice, and gives us courage to risk ourselves to love others.
As we begin this Advent season, give us the grace and the readiness to wait for your coming. Wake us up to the needs of others, and make us alert to your abiding presence in our midst. Open our eyes for ways to be helpful, to show kindness, do justice, and walk humbly with you.
This day we particularly lift up the residents, shop owners, police force, and court system of Ferguson, Missouri, and any place anywhere where there is a need for racial reconciliation and justice. Bring peace through understanding and respect and deepen our will to live in harmony.
We continue to pray for the victims of Ebola, their loved ones, and the medical workers caring for patients. We pray for an end to violence in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. We pray for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine. Comfort those in our own city who are grieving injury or death by gun violence, and teach us your ways of shalom.
We also ask that you bring healing to all those facing health challenges or experiencing loss of one kind or another.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church