Our Lord, having confessed with our mouths the creed, we meditate upon you in our hearts. You are the Creator of all things, the Ruler of all nations, an eternal God who holds all things together. You have come to us in humility and poverty. You have come to us despite our sin, in the face of our brokenness and rejection of you, in the midst of our often misdirected attempts to please you. Grant us grace to receive your coming, to make space in our lives to welcome you this Advent.
And so we pray, waiting for you to come to us, offering you access into every area of our lives:
We pray for the Church worldwide. May we continue to grow up in every aspect into the fullness of Jesus, the head of the Church. Grant us grace to live faithful lives, that we may be alert and actively putting on the Lord Jesus. Help us to see opportunities to love our neighbors, and may the world recognize your Church by the love we have for one another. Grant Church of the Apostles wisdom to follow you obediently in all our endeavors, and we ask you to establish the work of our hands, especially…
We pray that the nations will seek you because of the witness of your Church, and that all people would desire to know You. Teach the leaders of the nations your ways, O Lord, that there may be justice and peace throughout the earth.
We think of all the areas in the world that are torn by war, disease and hunger; that are overridden by corruption and injustice; places where the poor and oppressed cry out. Hear us as we remember them, O Lord, for you are a God who listens to His people’s cry.
Consider the groaning of all creation as we wait for your coming and eagerly long for Your justice. Until then, grant us wisdom to steward your earth responsibly: to care for the creatures you have made and to live in harmony with your handiwork. Help us to be faithful intercessors for all these things, calling to our minds this week the welfare of the world, especially….
We pray for the needs of our community here in Columbia. Grant us discernment to minister your love and truth to those around us. Grow in us a greater love for our neighbors, our classmates and coworkers, our families, friends, and enemies. Help us to live in such a way that we are alert and ready for Your coming, aware of your presence in the every day details of our lives, especially…
O Lord, our hearts are overwhelmed as we consider the suffering and trouble all around us. Grant us the mind of Christ to look on pain and still trust in Your character, that we might courageously believe in the midst of the brokenness and pain all around us. Give us compassion and a mindfulness of others as they suffer in body, mind, and spirit. Enable us to offer words and deeds of comfort and truth, knowing you to be the One who comes to us, even in the midst of suffering. All men and women belong to you, and we commit to your care those in pain, especially…
We trust your Word, that Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren, that those who have died in Christ will also live with Him. We entrust to your continual care our brothers and sisters who have died in the faith, especially…
We are thankful for these lives and examples of faithfulness, even as we mourn the separation of death. Grant us grace to hope in the midst of our sadness and grief. Help us to believe your promise of eternal life and, so believing, to eagerly await the return of Jesus.
You are trustworthy and gentle with us, O Lord, and your love for us never fails. Draw us near to you this week, enfolding us in your encompassing presence. In our incompleteness, in our longing, come to us and abide with us. Make your home with us as we learn to abide in you, through Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.