Prayers of the People | December 21

Prayers of the People | December 21

How shall we explain this great and wondrous mystery?

The unfleshly is enfleshed; The Word is made full; the unseen appears, and the untouchable is touched;

The One without beginning begins; Son of God becomes Son of Man.

And so our souls do magnify the Lord, and our spirits do rejoice in God our Saviour; For he that is mighty has done great things, and holy is his name.

* * *

Almighty Father,
 who showed yourself to Moses and who spoke to Isaiah the wisdom of redemption, in the increasing bleakness, the deepening darkness of our time, a world in dismal circumstance, announce to us as you did to the Virgin Mary that you are still doing a new and spectacular thing amongst us, and call us to a place of courageous and responsible imagination in our daily expression of our faith in your salvation. Come, Lord Jesus, stretch out your mighty hand to bring your people to the consummation of their faith; to their final freedom, to Jerusalem the holy, to the Supper of the Lamb.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Fruit of the virgin’s womb, send your Holy Spirit upon us as we prepare for Christmas High Time. Grant to us a spirit of humility, a desire for modesty, and a satisfaction in the knowledge that we have “enough.” Keep us from ever yearning for more, and to desire instead to stand this Advent season in solidarity with those who have little or nothing.

Anoint and equip your people in all streams of belief with a renewed passion to preach and to enact the gospel. Press upon us the need to join you outside the gate in ministry to people economically marginalized and socially excluded. Our vocation is to be ‘salt, light, and leaven,’ and even in stepping out of Ordinary time during this season of Advent, the work of Easter must be relentlessly done.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Move us, Lord, to an intensity of belief that willingly moves into the wilderness of our streets; a belief that wills to go underground where those who are weak, and who cannot help but continue to damage themselves huddle in the safety of cluster, from the cold of weather and from the frigidity of weariness and despair.

By your presence, Lord, bring to us the liberating joy that goes beyond our personal prisons; beyond the graveside of our lost dreams and our diminished hopes, and even beyond the macabre anterooms of death, in the rooms of which we all abide.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

We are comforted to know that we are standing on the threshold of the Great Fulfillment; that the wonder-realm of your Kingdom is imminent, but not yet. And so, we come, and we cry; we watch and we wait; we look and we long for you.

In our great expectation, help us to ready ourselves by offering the hospitality of our being to the everlasting Word of God; to allow that Word to enter the womb of our souls, there to become flesh and dwell within us.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Bright and Morning Star, we pray for those among, and around us, who are shackled by heavy burdens, who suffer from anxiety and depression, and who dress continually the wounds of physical and mental abuse. We bring to you those who are disquieted by failure and grief, by helplessness and loss of courage, by despairing fear of what the future holds for them.

We name aloud or in the silence of our hearts those in our lives who are in particular need of our intercession.

(Silence)

For those named aloud, those spoken in the silence of our hearts, and especially for those for whom we have forgotten.

Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.

Holy Child of Bethlehem,
 descend to us, we pray;
 Cast out our sin, and enter in, 
be born in us today. Let the flesh of the Christ Child be our flesh; his blood, our blood. And as we prepare to drink deeply from the cup of salvation you so magnanimously offer to us, to feast at the Table of your delight and of our joy, let us truly become what we receive.

Amen.

 

Image: https://flic.kr/p/5LZFZa

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