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PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH: December 30, 2018: First Sunday After Christmas

 

With joy and gratitude for the gift of Christ the Savior, let us draw near to our heavenly Father in prayer, asking his mercy for the Church, the world, and all who need his loving-kindness.

A brief silence

Dear Father, thank you for Jesus, who, though your eternal Son, is also our brother – “flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone.” Thank you for bringing him through all the stages of our life – and even our death. Thank you for revealing who Jesus is, and why you sent him. Grant us joy as we bid farewell to one earthly year and greet another; and turn our hearts, eyes, and lives toward Christ, our eternal Dayspring and our heart’s delight.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Make your Church into the true Temple of the Lord Jesus. There, reveal him as your light and glory for all people, and there, enthrone him as your Word, wisdom, and salvation for the whole world. Unite your persecuted servants to him, so they may confound their tormentors’ scorn and call them to repentance.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Grant safe travel to all who visit loved ones in this joyous season. Give endurance, patience, and a sense of humor to clerks, cashiers, waitstaff, delivery truck drivers, and everyone else who labors at this hectic time. Thank you for co-workers of different faiths who willingly “cover” for Christians during these holy days. Help us to graciously reciprocate, even before we are asked.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We lift up before you, dear Lord, the many people and committees of our congregation. Keep our focus on loving you, caring for one another, and sharing the Gospel with those who do not yet know Jesus.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Our Christmas cards and carols so often speak of peace and goodwill. Yet we see anger, suspicion, discord, even hatred all around us. Most gracious God, we implore you to give every person – of every race, creed, political persuasion, and circumstance in life – a foretaste of that eternal and glorious peace which is the hallmark of your Kingdom. Clothe each of us with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, forgiveness, and love.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bring “tidings of comfort and joy” to everyone burdened by suffering, sin, and sorrow, especially those we name before you: {List}. Gladden the hearts of their loved ones, and give compassion and wisdom to all who care for them.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Thank you, dear Father, for the salvation you have granted to all who have died trusting in your promised mercy. Ease the grief of those who mourn in this season of joy. Lead us into the New Year and on into your eternal Kingdom, with the light of Christ around us; with his peace ruling our hearts; and with his word dwelling in us richly. Gather us, with everyone whom you have redeemed through the merits of your dear Son, at your festal Table, where in the power of the Holy Spirit, we joyfully praise and worship you, One God in three Persons, forever and ever and unto the ages of ages.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 Thank you for hearing our prayers, dear Lord. We entrust them, and our lives, into your merciful care. Amen.