Eternal God, by the birth of Jesus Christ you gave yourself to the world. Grant that, being born in our hearts, he may save us from all our sins, and restore within us the image and likeness of our Creator, to whom be everlasting praise and glory, world without end. Amen.
We are all still reeling from the school shooting that happened this past weekend. This afternoon, I had the privilege of talking with a youth pastor from Newtown, CT. He works with children and teenagers in his community just minutes from where the shooting happened.
There was a lot that he and I talked and prayed about. Here are a few of the prayer requests that he said that I could feel free to share.
This is one of my favorite hymns written by Charles Wesley. I use it often as a prayer.
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set they people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, hope for all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born they people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring. By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.
In the advent seasons, when the past has fled, unasked, away and there is nothing left to do but wait, God, shelter us. Be our surrounding darkness; be the fertile soil out of which hope springs in due time. In uncertain times, help us to greet the dawn and labor on, love on, in faith awaiting your purpose hid in you waiting to be born in due time. Amen.
Merciful God, you sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation. Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may celebrate aright the commemoration of the nativity, and may await with joy the coming in glory of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Righteous God, you rule the nations. Guard brave men and women in military service. Give them compassion for those who confront them as enemies. Keep our children from hate that hardens, or from scorekeeping with human lives. Though for a season they must be people of war, let them live for peace, as eager for agreement as for victory. Encourage them as they encourage one another, and never let hard duty separate them from loyalty to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen
On this hallowed evening, may the Holy Spirit fill us with the tricks of the trade of mask-making. In the same way that you call us to imagine ourselves in others’ shoes, call us to try on the faces, the masks, the voices, and the characters of those who fascinate and captivate us, those whom we fear, those whom we adore, those who have gone before us. Guide little ones, elders, and everyone in-between safely as they cross paths with strangers, knock on neighbor’s doors, and open their own front doors. Tonight is a thin place – where darkness and light, heaven and earth, life and death, fear and awe dance so closely together. Saint us, trick, us betwixt us, treat us, beg us, and hallow us as we hallow your name.