Prayers for the Third Sunday of Advent – Year A (BCP)

Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:4-9; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11

Our Lord, we trust that your presence is our deliverance.  We ask you to come and release us from our fears and sins.  We offer you our weak hands, our feeble knees, our anxious hearts.  Strengthen and encourage us, transforming us into people of belief who joyfully await your coming.

Silence.

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.  Almighty God, grant your Church wisdom and courage to walk in your way of holiness, to live in the light of your justice, salvation, and restoration.  May many people see the triumphant deliverance of your people, may they glorify you and know the everlasting joy of your salvation.  We commit the work of the Church to you, especially…

Silence.

Sovereign Lord, you are the help and the hope of all nations.  You care for the people of all lands: the hungry and oppressed, the prisoners, those bowed down with troubles, the righteous and wicked – all souls are yours.  We trust in your goodness and promised reign of justice and faithfulness.  Look on the earth you have created and, in your mercy, deliver us.

Consider the groaning of all creation as we wait for your coming and 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.

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.

Help us to be faithful intercessors for all these things, calling to our minds this week the welfare of the world, especially….

Silence.

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 foster uncomplaining spirits, and put far from us idle, critical speech.  Help us to live this week expecting Jesus to come into every area of our lives, especially…

Silence.

 

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…

Silence.

 

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…

Silence.

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.

Grant us hearts of praise, loving God who keeps faith with us forever.  You are our help, our hope, the Creator of all things, the giver of life, justice and freedom.  Come Almighty God and give us the everlasting joy of your 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.

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