Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People December 16, 2018

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Based on Luke 3:7-14

As we come to you in prayer, O God, we find the gifts of welcome you offer us, time and time again, are gifts more significant, more restorative, more nourishing and wholesome than any other gifts we receive.  We are deeply grateful for the reach of your love that extends across time and space to find us here today.  So help us to live with your open-heartedness and open-handedness, Eternal God, as we wait for the fulfillment in this Advent season’s great hope of your Son’s coming.  Show us how to prepare a fitting place for Him.

 First, let us offer you, God, a thorough-going, heartfelt repentance, setting aside any arrogance or pride that weakens our resolve to see ourselves as we really are.  Help us to look the past in the eye, confess it for what it is, and start afresh.  Let us consider what you may wish to make of us now – and what we may yet make of ourselves.  Prophets of old reminded us that those who turn to you, earnestly asking, “What should we do?” will receive your blessing; and they will be those who, in turn, will give of themselves gladly and willingly, in many places and among the many people you call your own.   

So bless us now and shape us anew, God.  And let our growth be patterned on the faithfulness we witnessed through your Son.  Help us aspire to live lives worthy of his people, following the model he gave to us.  Let our lives bear the fruits that mark us as Christ’s people.  Show us how to live with integrity, generosity, compassion, hopefulness, confidence, and the peace of Christ.

We look with wonder toward the day of Christ’s birth, for we know his presence then will be as real to us as a newborn’s cry, and as tender as a new mother’s tears of joy, as tangible as the crust of bread and sip of wine through which he continues to make himself known to us.  We pray as those who wait for him and trust in him with sure and certain faithfulness.  And we use now his own words of prayer as we say together: The Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People December 9, 2018

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Advent II, Year C, Luke 3:1-6

Thank you, Eternal One, for every way you grant to us to offer you praise and thanksgiving.  Thank you for quiet moments of reflection on your goodness, thank you for chances to sing together, worship together, share in your spirit’s presence together, and wait together for the coming of your Son. Receive our offering today as a token of our deep gratitude for these opportunities and for every other gift you give to us – especially the gift of your Son. 

As we recall the prophets’ assurance across the ages of your enduring concern for us and care for us, we dare to glimpse the future, and even to witness the plans you hold for our world as they start to unfold.  We who face challenges at every step, begin to recognize the holy possibility that at the coming of your Son, indeed, we might live content.  For, he is ever-ready to lead us like a shepherd, through whatever isolated or lonely wilderness we inhabit.  So help us make ready for him.  If there are roads to be made straight, mountains to be made passable, rough places to be made smooth, help us step up and acknowledge our opportunity to make everything ready for his coming.  Remind us that none who seek him will be kept away.  Despite the tolls life has exacted from us, we will know harmony, plenty, peace, and boundless hope.  Your prophet, Isaiah, foretold such a future, God.  Your prophet, John, announced that it was imminent.  So let us prepare the way for the coming of the One the world most longs for and most needs. 

As the weeks march on toward Christmas, keep us expectant and watchful for the signs of Christ’s coming.  Let us witness the tender shoots of fresh life arise in our midst with his birth.  Show us again that all things worthy and wondrous share an eternal nature, and as your Son showed us, are undying.  So point us toward what is lastingly good.  Turn us toward Bethlehem and the birth there that has the capacity to make every life eternally new.  We pray in readiness to accept the responsibility of being your people.  We will prepare the way of his coming to us.  Hear us as we say together the words of confident prayer he taught us … The Lord’s Prayer.

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