Monday, December 01, 2014

An Advent Prayer - Eleanor Shepherd

Our Heavenly Father,

            As once again we enter the season of Advent, we eagerly await the celebration of the birth of Jesus, Your Son who from the beginning of time You planned to provide as our Saviour.  During these days we anticipate all the joys of our annual celebration of the greatest event of history, the coming of You the eternal God into our world as a helpless baby.  While our minds can hardly grasp this reality, we pray that our reflections will open us each to a deeper awareness of Your love for us as we enter into our preparations for the celebration of Christmas 2014. In creating a festive environment in our churches and in our homes and the many places where we gather together in celebration of the Christmas season, we bring out the decorations that symbolize so many of our traditions.  As we unwrap these memories of past Christmases, may we also prepare ourselves internally for the miracle of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our inner reflection will be effective when we take time to recall Your faithfulness to us through the years as we ponder the kindness and love that we have received and given that has enriched our lives so much.

             In contrast to the lights and music that are an integral part of the Christmas season for us, we are aware that in much of our world there is darkness and discord.  We pray for those places today where people are living in fear and unhappiness.  As we prepare to honour You who have revealed to us Your standard of justice and righteousness, we are conscious of those who suffer as victims of injustice and evil. We ask that in response to our prayers, in some special way Your light and love might penetrate the dark places, even in what seems to us some small or insignificant way.  As they breaking through, we know they will bring hope and healing to broken and despairing hearts.  As Your Spirit comes into dark corners with Your grace we pray they those in the shadows might be stirred to take heart with the realization that Emmanuel - God with us has come and desires to accompany them through the darkness and into the light.
            Lord, we thank You that You know the desire that we carry today to follow the example of Emmanuel and be lights in our world that can help dispel the darkness.  Yet we acknowledge that often within us the light becomes dim because of our own failure to trust You.  As a result we know that we are less that You would have us be.  We fall short of the mark.  We ask you in Your mercy to forgive for our sins.  You will enable us again to ignite and strengthen the light in the lives of each other as we receive and give forgiveness from You and from each other.  Forgiven people, help us to forgive and to encourage all we meet, so together we might bring light to the communities where we find ourselves during this season of Advent. 

            When we gather around the Advent wreath and light the candles, reminding ourselves of all the gifts that You gave to us with the coming of Christ on that first Christmas, prepare us to share those gifts as part of our daily living.  May hope, peace, joy and love flow out of our hearts into the lives of those around us creating a more beautiful world for your coming in the  way that the gentle falling of the snow softly coats the earth and transforms the drabness into something beautiful. 

            In the name of the Christ of Christmas we pray.


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SuperLux said...


Happy Advent. Happy holidays!

Peter Black said...

Eleanor, thank you for drawing me as a reader, worshiper and fellow Christ-follower into your searching and challenging Advent / Christmas prayer.
I find it helpful to take prayerful moments in the midst of the season's bizz to contemplate the Incarnation accounts and their significance, both in their spiritual and practical applications~~+~~

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