“We bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
Advent God, who comes to us in love, peace and joy, We thank you
- for love that nourishes and sustains our hearts,
- for peace that enables us to live in friendship with others
- for joy that illumines and inspires our lives.
- To be loved and not care for the unloved,
- To live in peace and ignore the shattered lives of others
- To celebrate our own enjoyment selfishly,
Are sins against you, O Advent God, which deny the very message we preach.
So in thanking you for the joys that illumine our lives, We pray for those for whom joy seems far away and for others to enjoy.
- For all whose loneliness is made worse by parties, laughter and other people’s joy:
- For bereaved people still hurting from the death of someone they have loved
- For wives, husbands and children, whose lives have been broken by family break-up, divorce and the dismantling of their hopes.
- For older people now living on their own, 1 in 8 of whom will see nobody over Christmas
Lord in their loneliness, may these your children know the presence of the Wonderful Counsellor, and comfort them through us.
In thanking you for the joys that illumine our lives, we pray for all who are hungry and homeless at the very time when everyone else will be eating their fill, enjoying the warm comfort of home.
- Those men and women and young people whose lives simply collapsed and they fell through all the safety nets
- Those for whom the big issue isn’t a magazine, but the hopelessness, loneliness and placelessness of not having a home
- Those who have to stand in supermarket queues looking at others with stacked trolleys and finding it impossible not to envy
- Those who won’t receive any Christmas cards because they have no address, no live relationships with their past
Lord for those who feel empty and unwanted, be to them the Everlasting Father, and love them through us.
In thanking you for the joys that illumine our lives, we pray for all who are ill, or suffering, or anxious about their future
- We pray your compassion on those who are in hospital, feeling isolated, dis-empowered, and often disorientated
- We pray your strength for those who struggle day and daily with chronic illness, constant pain, and a sense of their own weakness
- We pray your peace for those who care for their loved family or friend, and who often wonder how long they can keep up with the demands and needs of one they love
- We pray your patience and respite for those who care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s and other conditions that take away the sense of self, and descend into loneliness.
Lord for those who are suffering and anxious, and for those needing strength to care for them, be to them the Almighty God whose love and joy and peace surround, uphold and will never let go,
Through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, Amen
(I wrote this prayer for those who find Christmas an ordeal and yet another expreience of exclusion - we'll use it at our Advent Service of reflection in Montrose this Sunday - feel free to use. I've always thought it odd to put a copyright on prayers :))