Advent Common Prayer Series

This series of community prayer meetings was offered during Advent 2020, and is posted here as an on-going resource.

Join us via Zoom for a 10-15 minute weekly Advent gathering for common prayer. The prayer to be spoken by our community will be published here in advance. If you can’t join us, we hope you will enjoy finding a quiet time to pray them with us as a way of pausing to dwell in the reason for the season.

Zoom Link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87484229603pwd=UXJWTEZVZkQ0dWp4L0FybkdlV2gzQT09

12/22: Advent Week Four (Final Week)

Leader: The fourth and final week of Advent we focus on the true meaning of Christmas, explained in one little four letter word…LOVE. Let us pray together.

All: (Adapted from a blog post by Gail Rodgers

When Jesus came to this earth, He brought a special kind of love. 

A love that was unselfish, compassionate, and unconditional. 

Thank you, God, for loving us just as we are. 

Our condition is irrelevant to Your love. It is a love that picks us up just where we are in life and carries us further than we could ever go on our own.

Help us to give Your love away in the same unselfish, compassionate, unconditional way that Jesus gave it to us. 

Jesus told us this love will be our trademark. 

Let our actions reflect Jesus to the world around us.

Help us choose to offer love, and not to hold it back. 

In situations where it is hard to offer love, we ask You to give us an abundance of Your love in our hearts.

Help Your love to be evident in our words and actions as we interact with others. 

Let us always seek to bring unity. 

Remind us to listen with sincerity and interest.

Help us to wear the love of Jesus as our distinguishing mark.

Amen.

Leader: We pause before we return to the business of our day to also hold the specific intentions of our hearts, perhaps situations where or people that we struggle to love, here together in a moment of silence.

Moment of silence.

Leader: God, hear this our common prayer for love. Hear also the prayers that we speak only to you only in the silence of our hearts. Help us to offer Your gracious love to all those who I mingle with this Christmas season. Overfill my heart with your love, so that it pours out of us freely. May they know we follow you by the love we show those around us. Amen.

12/15: Advent Week Three

Leader: The third week of Advent we invite the joy of this season into our hearts.

All: (Adapted from a study by Bobbie Schaeperkoetter)

Today we pray for you to flood our hearts with great joy.

Sometimes it’s difficult to live joyfully, especially in difficult or busy seasons.

So, today we pause to invite your joy into our lives.

Our joy is not dependent on what is going on in our life, in our world, or the people that we are with.

It doesn’t depend on the gifts we give or the gifts we find under the tree.

No earthly thing can ever give us complete joy.

Our joy comes from you.

That joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing. 

And for this we pray today.

Those who gathered around the new baby were blessed because they believed that you had fulfilled your promises.

Mary and Joseph believed and were able to feel the joy of holding baby Jesus in their arms.

The shepherds and wise men believed the angles and the signs and experienced the great gladness of worshipping their Messiah.

God, you gave us a reason to celebrate when you gave us the unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ.

You came to dwell among us.

Our joy doesn’t come from our jobs, our family, our relationships, our finances, or our success.

Our joy doesn’t come from what we have on earth or who we are with.

Our joy is a gift from you.

It is the gift that you gave us that first Christmas in Jesus Christ.

Flood our hearts with joy this Advent season as we reflect on the good news of Jesus’ birth.

Leader: We pause before we return to the business of our day to also hold the specific intentions of our hearts here together in a moment of silence.

Moment of silence.

Leader: God, hear this our common prayer for joy. Hear also the prayers that we speak only to you in the silence of our hearts. Send us into this third week of Advent filled with the joy of knowing that you loved us so much that you came into the world to experience what it is to be human and that you walk with us still through both joyful times and sad. Help us to be a face of your joy for others this season.

12/8: Advent Week Two

Leader: The second week of Advent we remember the gift of Peace we have in Christ. Peace is a gift that we must be prepared for and must work for. God gives us the gift of peace when we turn to him working together in faith. Through John the Baptist and all the other prophets, God asks us to prepare the way of the Lord, whom the prophet Isaiah calls “the Prince of Peace.” As we pray today we look with hope for the day that Christ’s peace will reign in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, and in our world.

All: (from A Prayer For A Troubled Heart by Debbie McDaniel)

Dear God,
Our world is hurting and broken.
We pray for those who have lost loved ones this week, please comfort them in their grief and loss, cover them with your peace and presence, as only your Spirit can do.  

We know that in whatever we face, you are our Peace and Refuge, a very present help in times of trouble.

Thank you that you remind us throughout your Word, we do not face the storms alone, but you are always with us.  Whispering calm. Speaking peace. Bringing rest to our souls.

We confess our need for you.

We ask you to forgive us for trying to figure everything out on our own, for not trusting that you are more than able and powerful to work on our behalf.

Forgive us for picking back up what we already determined to lay down at your feet.

Give us the ability to trust you more, give us a heart that finds rest in your presence, give us the wisdom to seek peace and pursue it, remembering it’s only to be found in you alone.

Thank you that your yoke is easy and your burden is light.

Thank you that you care for us.

Thank you that the peace of your loving and strong presence guards and protects our hearts and minds in you.

Thank you that we do not have to walk in fear or live in overwhelmed cycles of worry and stress.

Thank you for your voice that breaks through the greatest wind and storm swirling around us, and whispers “Peace, be still.”

Thank you that you sent your One and Only Son.

Leader: We pause before we return to the business of our day to also hold the specific intentions of our hearts here together in a moment of silence.

Moment of silence.

Leader: God, hear this our common prayer for peace. Hear also the prayers that we speak only to you in the silence. Send us into this second week of Advent filled with the peace of being known by you, right down to the very hairs on our head. Amen.

12/1: Advent Week One

Leader: Thank you for gathering with us on this first week of Advent to dwell together briefly in prayer. We will pray the below together, in unison, as best we can.

All: (Adapted from One Candle: An advent liturgy for 2020 by Rev. Karen Ware Jackson)

Light one candle for hope.
Because the world is broken and the wait is long,
but hope just won’t let go.
Hope holds space for all our longings
lingers on the edge of harsh reality
like the dawn gently awakening the sky.
“Keep awake,” she whispers,
“for the world is being made new.”
So we light one candle, because it only takes one:
Christ with us.

Light one candle for peace.
Because the world is broken and the wait is long,
but we refuse to be frozen by fear.
Peace comes in fits and startsa deep breath
a courageous truth
a humble heart.
“Prepare the way,” she whispers,
“for the Lord comes to make the broken whole.”
So we light one candle, because it only takes one:
Christ with us.

Light one candle for joy.
Because the world is broken and the wait is long,
but our joy cannot be contained.
Like a toddler, toppling the thrones of power with a gleeful swipe,
Joy pierces our silence with song
interrupts our sighing with laughter
unshackles our fumbling feet to dance.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,” she whispers,
“and my Spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
So we light one candle, because it only takes one:
Christ with us.

Light one candle for love.
Because the world is broken and the wait is long,
but love never ends.
Love faithfully goes about the work of
casting out fear
speaking truth
healing the deepest wounds
crossing the divide from this world to the next and back again.
“Here i am,” she whispers,
“the servant of the Lord.”
So we light one candle, because it only takes one:
Christ with us.

Light one candle for Christ.
Because the world is broken and the wait is long
but Christ is with us through it all.
In humble manger in a back water town – a baby.
On a convict’s cross – a king.
in every heart and every home where hope, peace, joy, and love endure-Christ with us.
“Glory to God in the Highest heaven,” she whispers,
“and peace to all on earth.”
So we light one candle, because it only takes one:
Christ with us.

Leader: We pause before we return to the business of our day to also hold the specific intentions of our hearts here together in a moment of silence.

Moment of silence.

Leader: God, hear this our common prayer for hope and peace and joy and love. Hear also the prayers that we speak only to you in the silence. Send us into this first week of Advent filled with the hope of you being with us through it all, living like a bright candle in every heart here on this call. We praise you for the light in the darkness that this community is for us all. Amen.