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PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, December 16, 2018: 3rd Sunday in Advent


For the Church, the world, for one another, and for the sake of all people, let us pray to the Lord.

A brief silence

Heavenly Father, thank you for the joy, righteousness, peace, and love you lavish upon us through the gift of your dear Son! Thank you for every instance of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope that happens in this sin-damaged and death-shadowed world. Thank you for your peace that passes human understanding and endures past human malice. Whatever our circumstances, give us hearts filled with lasting joy and imperishable hope, so we may thank and bless you for Jesus, and lead others to experience the blessed joy of knowing him.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Make your Church resplendent with faithfulness, holiness, and joy, so that many hearts are gladdened as they turn to Jesus in faith. Comfort your persecuted Church, and let them rejoice in knowing you are near. Let their gentleness be known to everyone, even their tormentors. And guard their minds and hearts in Christ Jesus their Lord.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember before you those whom it is easy to ignore: prisoners, refugees, and people in mental institutions, nursing homes, or homeless shelters. Help us to shed the light of your love upon them – and also the light of simple human kindness. Help us to speak your word of peace, forgiveness, and salvation to them – and also a word of understanding, sympathy, and friendship.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Give your dearest blessing to the people and ministries of this congregation. Let us be a people in whom your Word is fulfilled: “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. He will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.”

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Make the leaders of every nation acknowledge your justice, and govern in obedience to it. Let faithfulness spring up from every human heart, and your righteousness look down from the sky. Strengthen, protect and guide those who serve and protect others, defend liberty, and establish justice and safety here and abroad. Show them your steadfast love; direct their deeds in righteous pathways; and restore them to their loved ones when their task is done.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Teach all who suffer in body, mind or spirit, to turn to the One who made the deaf hear, the blind see, and the lame walk. We especially pray for: {List}. Give them such confidence in you that they truly do not worry about anything, but lift their needs to you by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. Grant your peace to them and all who love them, and guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, as we await the coming of your Son in glory, we also await a joyful reunion with our departed oved ones. Help us to comfort and cheer those whose hearts are heavy with grief. Make us gentle, faithful, joyful and steadfast in love. Fulfill the promise made to your prophet: that you will rejoice over your people with gladness; renew us in your love; and exult over us with loud singing as on a day of festival. Remove from us the disaster of sin, evil, and death, so that we will not bear reproach for it.  And bring us, with all who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, into your everlasting home, where we shall rejoice in your goodness forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For all these things; for all we lift before you in the silence of our hearts; and for everything that you know we need, we pray in the name and power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and commend into your mighty and merciful hands.