Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent

Filled with expectation and longing, we pray for the world God loves, the Church God calls, and all people according to their needs, saying, Lord, in your mercy, and responding, Hear our prayer.

[Brief pause]

God of beginnings and endings, of big bangs and super novas, we pray for your creation and the role you have given us in it.  In the middle of natural changes, give us patience to endure.  In the middle of changes which we have caused, give us determination to alter our course.  Strengthen us to be faithful.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of beginnings and endings, of new technologies and obsolete ideologies, we pray for the human family.  Open our minds to fresh ways of approaching life, open our hands to let go of whatever denies life, and open our hearts to those who live life differently.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of beginning s and endings, of modern prophets and dying structures, we pray for your church.  Give us wisdom to discern the difference between what is central and what is optional to being your gospel people.  Give us faith to trust your presence among us.  Give us courage to take the risk of ministry.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of beginnings and endings, of births and deaths, we pray for those who are experiencing transitions and challenges.  Make us willing to reach out to those whose lives are being launched, those whose lives are drawing to a close, and all those in between who face uncounted struggles, including those we name before you now.
[Long pause]
Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

God of beginnings and endings, of “Let there be light” and “It is finished,” we pray for our own commencements and conclusions.  Free us from desiring to perpetuate the old simply because it is comfortable.  Free us from grasping the new simply because it is novel.  Help us recognize and respond to your Call to build what needs building and dismantle what needs tearing down.  Lord, in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Hear the prayers of your people, O God, and in your mercy grant us what we need through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

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