Prayer of the people | December 14

Father, we watch, we wait, we long for you

I

am the voice of the one crying out in the wilderness.  Make straight the way of the Lord.

Father, we come to worship during this season of advent – where we wait, long and watch for you.  Our senses are on overload with our attention being drawn in many directions.  We hear Christmas carols everywhere, the playful laughter of children, we enjoy the scent of fresh greenery and hot cider, we see beautiful displays of lights, colourful and animated, the most lavish of creations to the most modest decoration.  At a time of parties, preparations and  pageants, may we take the lead of John in tonight’s gospel to take moments to disengage and to welcome stillness and contemplation, imagine newness, to continue our vigil in our walk towards Christmas.  Open the way for the unexpected, O God, as we look amongst the crowd, around the corner and amidst the mayhem for this Christ child.

Make straight the way of the Lord. Lord in Your Mercy…

Hear our prayer.

As we are in the midst of the season of giving, may we learn to emulate you, O God, by living in the present moment, by thoughtful breathing, by sharing the gifts of presence and being present and responsive to those with whom we live, work and love.  May you be in the midst of all the gifts we bring – you who inhabits every second through all eternity; you – who informs us with the breathe of the Holy Spirit; you – who inspires us with the call to serve in Christ’s name.

Make straight the way of the Lord. Lord in Your Mercy…

Hear our prayer.

The climate in our nation is fatigued with political theatrics and the daunting downward economic spiral.  We ask for a sense of decorum and accountability in Parliament where the focus is shifted to people and progress rather than rhetoric and personalities.  May we adopt healthy and creative strategies in response to how the economy affects us personally by regrouping, reprioritizing and reshaping what is important in our lives.  While the media preys on instilling fear, we can take this opportunity to take stock of the plethora of resources we enjoy.

Make straight the way of the Lord. Lord in Your Mercy…

Hear our prayer.

Globally, we remember our troops in Afghanistan, Canada’s ongoing commitment to the tour and the recent milestone of 100 human sacrifices, which is now 103 as of yesterday.  Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton, Pte. John Michael Roy Curwin and Pte. Justin Peter Jones, we remember.   We pause to pray for other regimes characterized by war; illuminate the darkness where peace and hope seem futile, penetrate the power of captors and leaders and lead us to an atmosphere of rest and peace.  Locally, we pray for safe driving conditions, safe drivers and responsible choices around this festive season and winter months ahead.  May we consider driving less and walking more and find intention in the earth’s need for responsible stewardship.

We remember the Sisters of the Church in Burlington and Lola and Roger with their Home Uganda Project.

Make straight the way of the Lord. Lord in Your Mercy…

Hear our prayer.

At this time, we are called to pray for those around us and among us.  We pray for those feeling dislocated, disenfranchised and distanced from community.  Whatever their need, please take a moment to mention anyone needing prayers.  Father, grant your peace on those who have died; comfort to those who mourn.  Thank you God for being present in, participating in, and being attentive to the darkness, weakness and displacement in our lives.  For all the tables this community surrounds, thank you for the table we will approach in our endless, inclusive circle of sacrament.  The bread will fill us, the wine will calm us and we will be reminded that we are not alone.  We remain open to your power that can do infinitely more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Make straight the way of the Lord. Lord in Your Mercy…

Hear our prayer.

As we move into busy weeks, may the light of God surround us; the love of God enfold us; the power of God protect us; the presence of God watch over us; for wherever we are, God is as we watch, we wait and we long for you.
Amen.

Written by Nancy Constantine for worship at
saint benedict’s table on December 14, 2008.

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