Daily Bread December 03

Prayer for Advent
Velma Ruch

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls,
    and security within your towers.”
For the sake of my relatives and friends
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,
    I will seek your good. -Psalm 122:6-9

From Finding Home: The Hospitality of God, Graceland University Press, 2006, pp. 14-15

Gracious God,
We come to this Advent season knowing we have been here before with all of the longings, the hopes, the needs that have marked our lives since we were small children. We come having seen some of these longings satisfied, other longings revised for a better vision, some of them lost or discarded, or some crucial ones that still may be unfulfilled. These unfulfilled longings bring us with intensified yearning to this particular season. We know how important it is because the quality of our longings determines the quality of our lives.

Open our eyes, O God, that we may see whatever glimpse of truth you have for us. Help us in these days of preparation for your coming to truly search our hearts under your guidance to become aware of those obstacles that stand in the way of our discipleship. Grant us grace in the inmost parts of our lives. Intensify our hunger for righteousness and your ever-loving presence. If necessary, intensify the pain of our longing, our recognition of a self-inflicted absence of your presence so your healing touch that often brings with it pain before joy may have its way with us. Enlarge our hearts. Illumine our understanding, and allow us to truly feel the joy of your coming.

O God, in this season of Advent, we pray your blessing upon all people, many of whom are suffering, all of whom are struggling to meet the challenges that each day brings. Where hope has been lost, may the star of your coming be illumined for them. Where hearing has been dulled and neutrality replaced vision, may they once again hear the song of the angels: “Glory to God and peace on earth for today is born in Bethlehem a Savior which is Christ the Lord.” May each one recognize that there is a better way than we are now living and that your coming assures us that we can find that way. We commit ourselves once again to the journey that simultaneously leads us home and fulfills our longing for home. In your name we pray. Amen.

Prayer Phrase

“Trust what is being born” (Stephen M. Veazey, Words of Counsel, 2019).

Spiritual Practice

Deepen your breathing as you enter a few moments of silent presence to God. Pay attention first to your own life as you gently ask and notice, “What is most alive in me right now? What is being born in me?” After a few moments of silent listening, ask these questions of your community, the church, and the world. Notice how the Spirit is revealing new life and possibility as you prayerfully ask these questions over time.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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