Each week in The Beginning, our meditative worship time on Sunday mornings, we offer a prayer that seeks to bring together our needs and desires as they have been brought out in the Scriptures we read together. For the benefit of those of you who are not able to attend that service, I thought I would print them as my Friday comments for the last two weeks of Advent.

Perhaps in the midst of the stress and activity of the final push toward Christmas, these prayers might remind us that, within the body of Christ, the Church, this is also a time of preparation. Join us in praying these prayers.

A Prayer for Advent

Though we are reluctant to hear the cries of the prophets, we stand convicted of our failure to be generous with the good gifts that have been placed in our hands. As John proclaimed that the roads would be made straight, so straighten our grasping fingers that we may release to the world the possessions to which we cling.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We have adopted postures of dishonesty, seeking to make ourselves seem better than we truly are, perhaps fooling others and even ourselves, but failing to fool you. Place before us, we pray, both the image of who we truly are and the vision of who you need us to be if we are to be your disciples.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We have made promises that we did not intend to keep and have allowed our misplaced priorities to overcome our good intentions. Instill us with dependability that comes not from our own resolve but through your strength received through our dependence upon the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The messages of the world, and especially of the Christmas Season, fill us with desires for what we do not need, expectations for what we should not have, and longings for what will never satisfy. Make us content with the good gifts that you have given us, especially the gift of your presence, and show us that, despite whatever travails we might face, that will always be enough.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Let us accept your guidance over the paths of our lives, going where you would have us to go, doing what you would have us do, all in the name of and by the power of the one who taught us to pray, saying, “Our Father…