Bidding Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent – Hope

hope

Come, let us pray for Church throughout the world.
            People may quietly voice their prayers
God of the wakeful and the exhausted, we lift our prayers to you in the light of hope. As we begin our preparations to honor Christ’s coming anew, make us mindful of others whose names for you may differ from ours. In our desire to worship and celebrate you, we want to do so truthfully, allowing your light to shine through us. As we enter this season of light, we lift up to you the darkness of our world.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us pray for the United Church of Christ gathered here and elsewhere.
People may quietly voice their prayers
God of all churches and peoples, hear our prayers for the United Church of Christ—it’s leaders, pastors, teachers, members, and friends. May all that we do bring the light of hope into the world. You have blessed us with a vision of unity and a call to work for justice in the world. In gratitude for your grace and your guidance, we ask that you continue to shape and reshape us into the church you would have us be.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us pray for all the peoples of the world.
People may quietly voice their prayers
God of startling diversity, teach us to see with sacred eyes, recognizing your image stamped on every human face. We hear the prophet’s words of peace and pray for the day when weapons will turn into tools for planting and nations shall not seek to annihilate one another. Ignite the light of hope in all the leaders of this world—especially in Syria and Iran, and all the other countries where there is war or the threat of war. Remind all your people that you are to be the judge between nations and that we are to seek peace and pursue it so that one day we will learn war no more.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us pray for our nation and those who lead it.
            People may quietly voice their prayers
God of all nations and all places, lead us to a place of acceptance and justice. Our nation is home to a variety of peoples and cultures with hopes and dreams for lives fully lived. Grant wisdom and humility to those who would lead us. Let us set aside the works of darkness that can divide us and put on the armor of light that will honor all. We live in a country rich with resources and abundance in so much. Grant us the wisdom, courage, and compassion necessary to live simply so that all may live fully.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us pray for all those who are in need of healing.
People may quietly voice their prayers
God of the brokenhearted and downtrodden, be with all those who are without hope. Let us be your agents of mercy and healing. We pray for those who lack the resources they need for medical care, for those who are homeless, and those who are broken in body, mind, or spirit. For those of us enjoying health and wholeness, make us mindful of the responsibility we have to our neighbors, near and far, who are in need.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us pray for those who are grieving.
People may quietly voice their prayers
God of life and death, comfort all those who mourn. We know that you have conquered death, and, yet, our hearts are fragile. As we remember those we love who have died, we trust that you hold them close. During this Advent season, we lift up to you those who face their first Christmas without a loved one–especially those who have died suddenly by violence, war, or suicide. We look to you for the hope that will shine in the darkness of loss.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Let us give thanks for our blessings.
People may quietly voice their prayers
God of peaceful simplicity and joyful abundance, hear our prayers of gratitude. We live in a world of miracles. As we walk in the light of hope, open our hearts to amazement that we might find contentment in the chaos and delight in the quiet. You have called and created us to be the body of Christ here and now and we are grateful.
O children of God, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

RCL – Year A – First Sunday of Advent – December 1, 2013
Isaiah 2:1-5
Psalm 122
Romans 13:11-14
Matthew 24:36-44

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