A collection of advent prayers

During Advent, our congregation moved through a series of point and counterpoint themes in our confession of sin and sermon texts. Below are the prayers that I wrote in case you might enjoy reading and using them:

ADVENT I – Despair

The days are drawing in and the darkness is growing around us.
As fall gives way to winter, we acknowledge that the light in our own hearts flickers and fades as does the winter sun. We are smoldering wicks.
In the midst of the bleakness of life we need your tender love, O God, to kindle our hearts into flame and to return warmth and love and joy to us.
[Silence may be kept]
Brighten our spirits and lighten our hearts this Advent season as we wait expectantly for our deliverance.

O God,
So often we feel like fallen leaves whipped across the ground by the winter wind. We move this way and that; there are no fixed points. We feel adrift in a sea of chaos.
[Silence may be kept]
We ask that in your mercy you would be for us that fixed point, our north star to guide us safely into the peaceful harbor where we may be refreshed, restored, and rested.
In the midst of our chaos, give to us your promised Sabbath rest and provide for our remaining journey through Christ our Lord.


In this life, O Lord, you have promised us that we will know sorrow.
We know your words to be true.
Our hearts are heavy and our shoulders stooped with the weight of the tribulation known to us, our families, friends, and by fellow Christians around the world.
Were it not for you our legs should buckle, our strength should falter, and our souls should be crushed.
[Silence may be kept]
Comfort us with your promise that all the sorrow in the world cannot stand against you. It will melt away as does the snow in early spring.
Fortify us for the living of our lives.

ADVENT IV – Loneliness

In the midst of crowds we so often feel alone, O God. In the busyness of the commercial season we so often feel neglected. In the midst of this community and others we can so easily experience loneliness—a connection to others that isn’t deep enough to sustain us in our sorrow.
[Silence may be kept]
Yet your promise Lord Christ is that we are not alone. We are no longer orphans, but are united to you by the Holy Spirit in the mysterious unity of the body of Christ.
Give us grace to express this reality to those around us today. May we give the gift of initiative-taking even as you did not leave us in our sin, but stepped down from heaven and entered into our situation.
Open our hearts, expand our minds, and take us outside of ourselves that in our words and actions we may display your love for the world today.

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