December 9, 2007

Prayers of the People

Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor

We seek to wait for you, yet we are impatient. We are insecure with our world and anxious about ourselves. We make a list of the things we need, that the world needs, and wait for you to act according to our plans. Help us to consider that you are waiting for us: waiting for some genuine act of contrition; waiting for us to repent and change; waiting for us to listen and respond with a burning passion to your truth and your justice and your mercy. Inspire us, O God, that we too are your chosen ones, chosen to serve in your name. Fill us with the light of hope and peace and love, for we seek you not only for ourselves but also for the many hurts and doubts and longings among us.

And so we come on this Advent morn with a litany to beseech you and to instill in our Advent longings. Hear now these desires, and as we pray them, fill us with the deep conviction that your Spirit has the power to bring new life. For here is our prayer:

Where there is unrestrained joy,
give the hope of friends in Christ with whom to share it;
Where there is pressing loneliness,
give the hope of a community of Christ’s caring people;
Where there is growling hunger of body,
give the hope of a great banquet with Christ at table’s head;
Where there is a craving hunger of mind,
give the hope of the truth of Christ;
Where there is desperate hunger of spirit,
give the hope of deep belief in Christ;
Where there is great yearning for the company of lives now past,
give the hope of the comfort of Christ’s presence;
Where there is longing for troops to return safely home for the war field,
give the hope of your Spirit to lead and deliver;
Where there is fear of the end of life or that life may never end,
give the hope of your Spirit to renew and revive and to resurrect;
Where there are children of plenty and children of want,
give the hope of coming to Christ;
Where there are young of innocence and young of rage,
give the hope of Christ’s ideals;
Where there are elders noble and elders vile,
give the hope of Christ’s wisdom;
Where there is smoldering anger,
give the hope of Christ’s kindness;
Where there is hard fear and the trauma of the experience of random and deadly violence come surprisingly in the midst of holiday preparations,
give the hope of safety in Christ;
Where there is doubt,
give faith to see beyond what eyes can see to the Christ who was and is and shall surely be.

 Take this our litany, Lord, and as we pray it and envision it in these days of Advent, give us also actions to clothe it and the deep conviction that through the power of the one yet to come it can be—peace on earth can be. For we pray this day and throughout these days in the strong name of the babe to come, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Life, Emmanuel. Amen.


Portions of this prayer are taken from Prayers for the Lord’s Day: Hope for the Exiles by James S. Lowry.