Friday, March 14, 2014

It's been a busy time on the other blog...

...And while I have plans for things to say in this space, I have been busy in this season of Lent writing daily thoughts and meditations on http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  I hope you'll check in there from time to time.  I'll be back here after Easter - I still have things to say!  Thanks for being "here"!


 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Prayers of the People

               As of the first Sunday in December of 2013, I have been writing and posting the liturgical Prayers of the People (PoTP) being used in several churches.  As this day, as I post, is the US federal commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, I am including them here as well.  To see other PoTPs I have written, you can scroll back below this post and for those and other less formal, shorter everyday prayers and meditations please go to  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  And PLEASE, share with everyone you know!


Holiday for Holy Purpose?

          In this country we have converted many federally recognized commemorative dates into "Monday holidays" on which schools, federal, and state offices are closed. For example, we used to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday on February 12th and George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day to remember the dead of the Civil War by decorating their graves) was May 30th. Now they and others all fall on a Monday close to the original date - with the exception that Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays were combined for a single day known now as "Presidents' Day."

        When a holiday/date was selected, and Congressionally approved, to honor Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., his birthday of January 15 was so designated. It, too, has become a "Monday holiday" however, there has been a considerable amount of effort by his family, those who literally walked with him, and newer generations to make this more than a "day-off" from work and school but rather that it be a "Day On" of community service in Dr. King's name. But for many it's still a day off to play. The purpose is especially lost among those who despise his memory and what that must require of us as equal human beings.

         It is critical that we carry Dr. King's message forward to uphold people of all colors, creeds, national origin, sexual orientation, and for any reason that any one is targeted for oppression, brutality, bullying, and discrimination. We are all equal in the Eyes and Heart of God. And, as Dr. King said, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."  What service will you do in holy purpose for God's People?



For the Second Sunday after Epiphany and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 Let us, God's People, Pray:

Readings:  Is 49:1-7, 1 Cor 1:1-9, John 1:29-42, Ps 40:1-12, MLK “I Have A Dream”

Leader:  ~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You called us before we were born and named us in the womb. We have spent our strength for nothing and vanity.  We now must turn toward You and answer. Our cause is with the LORD,
       
Response: Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You gave us a new song and often we sing it out of tune and use our own words.  Help us to learn Your words, love doing Your Will, and keep Your Law in our hearts. Our cause is with the LORD,

              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, You have given us all the gifts we need to proclaim Christ’s glory to the world.  Your Servant Martin used his gifts to show the way to freedom for all of Your people - those who are still terribly oppressed and brutalized in our own day and even those who mistakenly believe that freedom is achieved through power and greed.  Help us to compel our governments to demand equality for all, to put an end to the evil acts of those who inflict intolerance, oppression, and terror to Your People.  Let us be Your light to the nations. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, let Your Holy Spirit descend upon and give hope to all who are sick, troubled, and weary of life, and also upon those who care for and about them.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, lift those who are desolate from the loss of loved ones.  Fill their hearts with peace and comfort as they feel the Lamb of God in their midst and know those they love have indeed found the Messiah.  We pray especially for:  add your own petitions. Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God


~ O God of Compassion and Righteousness, inspire the leaders of Your Church to know, feel, and share the dream of Martin Luther King.   Exhort them to bring Christ among us, to walk with us to restore the dignity of every human being, and to seek and serve Christ in all.  Let us all work together to see to it that   “…the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together…” inside and outside of our temples of worship.    We pray especially for:  add your own petitions.  Our cause is with the LORD,


              Our reward is with our God



The Celebrant adds:  Almighty God, we see and hear again the example of Your Servant, Martin Luther King, Jr, in his powerful vision and compelling certainty that together we can all live in freedom from fear, oppression, intolerance and hatred.  You have called us to carry this vision, to stop our own thoughts and acts that disrespect and bring harm, and to make certain that Your People will know the peace and freedom of Your Salvation.  We ask Your grace to do Your Will through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, who with the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, today and always.  Amen.   

An Excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I have a Dream speech
from August 28, 1963, Washington, D.C.





I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."


I have a dream today.


I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.


This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."


And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!


Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!


Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!


But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!


Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!


Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.


And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"




Full text:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/17/i-have-a-dream-speech-text_n_809993.html





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Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution?

        Is there a point to making a New Year's Resolution?  I like to think so - a new beginning, an opportunity to try again, a reason to look forward.  For me it's better than celebrating a birthday!  Here's another thought:

http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2013/12/prayer-for-new-years-resolution.html

       What do YOU think?



Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prayers of the People ~ Christmas

             



      The Prayers of the People for Christmas are posted on the blog People's Prayers, the link is below.  I hope you will visit and join us is these prayers.  May you feel the Blessings and Joy of this Glorious Birth and find a New Life in yourself!



http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com/2013/12/prayers-of-and-for-all-people-christmas.html





Sunday, December 22, 2013

Prayer for Grieving at Christmas


For All Who Worry, Mourn, or Feel Lost at Christmas
Dedicated especially to the Giving Our Grief a Voice group
Delaware women who have lost loved ones to homicide


 


Silent Morn, Holy Morn
Sometimes I wonder
Why I was born.
I wake in the darkness and
can't see the light.
All I want is the end of the night.
Take this grief from me, Lord
Please take this grief from me, Lord.

 
Silent Noon, Holy Noon
All songs I sing,
are out of tune.
I’ve been looking for right words to pray
Nothing I’ve found yet, has shown me the way.
Help me find my voice, Lord
Please, help me find my voice.

 
Silent Day, Holy Day,
All's not calm, on my way.
In my life,
so much does not seem,
to be close to what I once dreamed.
Help me trust in Your Peace, Lord.
Please, help me trust in Your Peace.

 
Silent Night, Holy Night
Finally calm, finally bright
With Your love so vast and yet mild
Now I can rest as I’m also Your child
I found some peace in this night, Lord,
Heaven-sent Peace in this night.

 

Feel Free to share with attribution
© 2013 Christina Brennan Lee
 

This and other prayers by request and inspiration are posted
at People's Prayers  http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com 
Please visit often and feel free to share.













 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Advent 4 ~ Signs A-Wastin'

                 
 For the last three weeks I have posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the Season of Advent along with brief commentaries about the message of this Season and each week.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See more information at the end of this post.

                                                             

         We're STILL Waiting?  YES!  But, are we looking?  Do we know what to look for? A momentous occasion feels imminent but how will we know?  We are told the signs are all there, all we have to do is ask God for them.  But the ever-Kingly Ahaz says "Oh-No-I-don't-want-to-test-God" with the false humility of a leader who is really saying, "I can't be bothered."  Isaiah's frustration is palpable when he says, in effect, "OH PLEASE!  The Lord Himself is telling you that there's a young woman with child from the House of David, and you'll be out of here before he's old enough to know good from evil."  And Joseph has a lot of strange dreams but he believes in signs and so acts upon what he's told.  Our Messiah is coming, soon, to a stable near you! Are you ready? PAY ATTENTION to the signs.   There's an old bumper sticker that says, "Jesus is Coming, Look Busy." I think it should say, "Jesus IS Coming, LOOK!"
 

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 4
Readings:  Isaiah 7:10-16; Ps 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
 
Leader: ~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Your Holy Name means “God is with us.” Your Holy Birth is only hours away.  Let us breathe into the present moment, savor the anticipation, and look for the embrace of the only true GIFT of the season, YOU. 
 
Response: DEAR GOD of NOW, let us find a stillpoint to wait in and let go of the frantic activity that distracts us from You.
 
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we are called, as Mary, to be a vessel that carries You into the world and yet we resist the changes we need to make in our lives.  Give us the courage to open ourselves to Your Glory and allow You to shine through us for all to see and understand.
 
 
DEAR GOD of NOW, in these remaining moments before we celebrate Your birth, let us feel the fullness of Your Presence in our bodies, minds, and souls.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we beg for Your Grace and Peace to infuse the sensibilities of those who govern in this world.  The homeless, hungry, frightened, lonely, and brutalized need the Compassion, Empathy, and Mercy that are the hallmarks of this season of Your birth.  Push the rest of us to be determined, intentional, and proactive in our pursuit of Justice, Tolerance, and Humanity for every person on this Earth.  Help us to be the Reflection of Your Love in every thought and action of our lives.
 
Dear GOD of NOW, help us to remember that we are as responsible for the well-being of Your people as every individual in every government position.  Keep us aware and involved.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, may the impending joy of Your birth bring healing mercies to those who are ill and for those who give them care.  Free all who suffer from pain, sadness, loneliness, and fear and release us all from single-mindedness and self-pity.  Restore and renew our faith and hope in You.     (add your own specific petitions)
 
Dear GOD of NOW, it is said that if You are with us, who can be against us? Help us remember You walking with us through all sorts and conditions of woman and man.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, please dry our tears as we mourn our loss of those whose souls now live in Your eternity.  Help us feel the warmth of Your tender care in our grief and the promise of our own new birth in You. (add your own specific petitions)
 
GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience as You walk with us in our sorrow toward the time when suffering and grief are no more.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, we rely on those who lead us in Your Church to show us the pathway to You.  Endow and imbue them with Your Spirit that they may feel the depth of You in themselves and impart the mystery of Your breadth to us.  (add your parish/congregation/Diocese, Province, etc. name here) 
 
Prepare us, Dear GOD of NOW, to revel and live into the Joy of the Birth so close at hand.
 
~ Emmanuel, Emmanuel, our souls deeply know the astonishing You. Please help us connect our hearts and minds with our soul knowledge and live each day as a new creation in Christ.
 
Prepare us, Dear GOD of NOW, to revel and live into the Joy of the Birth so close at hand.
 
The Celebrant adds:  Dear God of Now, in these hours before our Holy Child is born, we are called again by You to willingly and knowingly belong to Christ Jesus our Lord. Give us the fortitude to hear the call, to follow Him, and share the Good News as easily as we breathe.  Amen.
 
These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.
 
Beginning with Christmas Eve, 2013, Prayers of the People and other prayers will be posted on
"People's Prayers" at http://prayersofthepeople.blogspot.com  Please visit often!

 
 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Advent 3 ~ All is Rosy!


The Third Week of Advent
The Rose Candle is Lighted
 


 For the last two weeks I have posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the Season of Advent along with brief commentaries about the message of this Season and each week.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See more information at the end of this post

       We’re still waiting for the birth of the Christ Child as we light the 3rd candle in the Advent Wreath. But, there's a notable change.  Some Traditions use a Rose colored (or pink) candle and perhaps even vestments and hangings this week.  Why change color in the middle?  Well, Advent, from its inception, has traditionally been a penitential season like Lent, with somber readings and admonishments to fast and pray for worthiness to await the coming of Jesus.  With the Revised Common Lectionary and newer scholarship, there has been more of an emphasis in the Joy that is to come – which isn’t to say we should not be prayerful or penitent as we wait!  With the penitential aspect, all the colors were Lenten purple and the rose color was a symbol of a rest break – let’s stop, breathe, and feel JOY at the coming Nativity. 
 
       Now, as was noted in an earlier blog post, many churches use blue to represent Hope instead of the penitential purple and the Rose candle is still a symbol of Joy.  Historically, the Latin name for this Sunday is Gaudete (gow-day-tay), Latin for “REJOICE!”.  It comes from an Introit (opening) of the Liturgy.  We hear the Joy, the Rejoicing, the Hope and the excitement in the readings.  We’ll be ransomed from sorrow and sadness, lifted up, beloved, and blessed.  We still have to be patient, there’s still some time before THE DAY, but we can smile as we wait – our future in Christ is Rosy, indeed!

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 3

Readings:  Isaiah 35:1-10, Ps 146:5-10, Luke 1:46b-55, James 5:7-10, Matthew 11:2-11

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we seek Your Holy Way. Help us to be strong and without fear as we wait for the desert moments in our lives to blossom and the dry land of our hearts to be glad.

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to ransom us with Your Goodness and Mercy.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we now realize that the Voice crying in the wilderness is our own.  Open our ears to hear your Good News and our eyes to see each other with Your sight.

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to look with favor on our sense of lowliness.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope that those holding power over us in government, employment, and other areas of our lives, wield empathy, compassion, moderation, and equity.  We pray especially for  the marginalized and oppressed peoples in our own streets and on Your whole Earth to know justice, mercy, and relief from suffering. Help us all to delight in Your love, our God, and to stay faithful as we wait expectantly for our Savior. 

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for You to show us Your way of Justice and Peace.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we remember in prayer all those who are sick in body, mind, or spirit.  We ask special grace for them and for those who care for them that pain and anxiety are calmed through the abundance of Your healing and comfort. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience for awareness of Your healing mercies.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as our lonely hearts mourn the loss of those we love.  Help us to know and feel Your Peace that passes all understanding so that our memories are sweet and comforting in our laughter as well as our tears. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

GOD of us all, we wait in prayerful patience as You walk with us in our sadness toward the time when suffering and grief are no more.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, we turn to You in hope as we ask for special blessings upon those who lead Your Church in lean times and times of plenty especially here in (add your parish/congregation/Diocese, Province, etc. name here).  Help us all to remember and renew our faith in You and the One who is coming as we pledge to share the Light of Christ in our Sanctuaries, in our homes, and on the streets.  How we live in You is what we give to Your world.

Prepare us, O God of us all, for the One who is coming.

~ O God of Jacob, Mary, and the Baptizer, let us feel the strength of Your Grace so that our souls may also magnify Your love and our spirits will rejoice as we await the Precious Coming of Jesus the Christ.

Prepare us, O God of us all, for the One who is coming.

 
The Celebrant adds:  O God of Grace and Peace, You call us again to renewal and conversion and to rightly prepare ourselves for the Way of Truth, Harmony, and Love that will abide in and shine through us with the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.


These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.



 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Advent 2 - Who's Your Daddy?



Advent 2
The Second Candle is Lighted
     Last week I posted the Prayers of the People  (PoTP) for the first week of Advent along with a brief introduction to the concept of the Season of Advent.  These Intercessory Prayers are being used in several Churches as part of the Sunday Service and are posted on several Facebook pages.  I hope that you will find them useful for personal prayer or small group meditation or in your congregation.  See the information at the end of this post.
 
     It is time to light the second candle on the Advent wreath and think about those who have gone before as we wait expectantly for the coming One.  This second week is an excellent time to increase our attention and intention to preparing ourselves in a different way for the birth of the Messiah.  Begin again by really listening to the readings and think about the voices the words represent, even though that’s not always easy.  For example, Isaiah starts the week off with “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  What does that mean?  The stump of Jesse?  Well, the family tree of Jesus is an interesting one.  Many of us know that King David is part of His lineage.  Jesse was the grandson of Ruth (of “whither thou goest, I will go” fame) and her husband, Boaz.  We first hear of Jesse in the First Book of Samuel as a farmer with eight sons, the youngest of which is David who becomes King of the Israelites. It is through Jesse’s family tree that this root, this Branch will flower into Jesus.  And Jesus is indeed the reason for the season; the reason for our Christ-mas - our act of worship of the One we call Messiah, the Anointed Son of God.  

     The secular spectacle that Christmas has become has many caught up in increasingly frantic activities of decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, and rounds of parties all without a sense of impending Joy.  (Personally, a display of fuschia, turquoise, and orange LED lights draped badly over shrubbery doesn’t speak to me of either Advent or Christmas, and spare me the huge blow-up Snoopy, Santa, or Grinch balloons with circulating “snow”! An even stranger sight in the daylight as they all lie unplugged on the ground as a stark image of Christmas gone flat.)   It is into this environment that the Psalmist calls His name blessed and asks that His glory fill the whole earth.  The Apostle Paul wants us to abound in hope and the Gospel of Matthew brings us the very direct and not shy voice of John the Baptist. 

     New Testament scholar, theologian, and author Marcus Borg tells us that Advent “…is a season of anticipation, yearning and longing for a different kind of life and a different kind of world.”  What kind of life, what kind of world are you longing for?  Where do you put God in your family tree?


THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent 2

Readings:  Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12

LEADER:  ~ O Timeless God of Wonder, it is a new year in Your Church, a chance to begin yet again.  Help us to heed the words of Your messengers as we prepare ourselves for another flowering of the Branch of Jesse’s Root.

RESPONSE:  LORD of all, grant us hope, patience, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, the Child that is coming will lead the wolf with the lamb, the calf with the lion, the cow with the bear. Let us be as children and, as we follow Him along Your path of righteousness, let us walk hand–in-hand –  and welcome as He will welcome us, those who are like us and especially those who are not like us.

LORD of all, grant us hope, tolerance, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we pray especially for those who govern on Your Earth.  Grant them wisdom and understanding, good counsel and knowledge so that we all may live in harmony and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

LORD of all, grant us hope, peace, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, we send you our prayers for those who are ill and for those who help them, so that fear and pain may be relieved and replaced with healing in spirit, mind, and body. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, healing, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, teach us to give the gift of listening and comfort without platitudes to those who are in mourning; and to remember in prayer those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for us. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

LORD of all, grant us hope, comfort, and joyful expectation.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, give us the courage to recognize and repent of our sins against You, against each other, and against ourselves.  Let us truly love ourselves as we are to love one another.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Kingdom.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, help us to prepare the way for Your Child by moving us to prepare Holy Space in our lives, sweeping our hearts and souls of the debris of hatred, despair, judgment, greed, and destruction.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

~ O Timeless God of Wonder, enfold and guide those who lead Your Church as they walk us forward into ever-changing tides and times.  Help us, Your People and Leader(s) of (add your parish/congregation/diocese/province name here), walk together through the thinning fog towards the coming Light.

Prepare us, LORD, for the coming of Your Glory.

The Celebrant adds:  O God of Grace and Peace, You call us again to repentance and conversion so that we may rightly prepare ourselves for the Way of Truth, Harmony, and Love that will abide in us through the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

 These Prayers and those for the four weeks of Advent are available for personal or congregational use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway. I ask only for attribution and a copy of how they are used. All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.

 

 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ADVENT?

 

 

What is Advent?     With the serious nudge (or even shove would be a good word) of encouragement of a good friend, I am going to post some intercessory prayers that I have been writing to be used in the Sunday Service for my local Episcopal Church for the Season of Advent. But, perhaps YOU don’t know or have forgotten what Advent is really about.  SO, a brief description is in order.  Then the prayers for the first week of Advent will follow and I will post the prayers for the following three weeks in their time.

In the Christian calendar, Advent is a season of hopeful waiting.  We spend the four weeks before Christmas preparing for the birth of Jesus, our Savior.  It is also the beginning of the Church’s Liturgical Year. Liturgy is, simply, the public worship, the Mass, or the Service (most often on Sunday) of the Church as parish or congregation. The Liturgical Year, in some denominations, consists of various seasons of the Church such as Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time.  Different colors are used for the various seasons – the colors for Advent are usually Purple and Pink although some Churches will use Blue and Rose. The colors are used in hangings on the lectern, the pulpit, the vestments and the altar. 
 
      We mark the beginning of each week by the lighting of a candle in the Advent Wreath and some
people will also use an Advent Calendar to mark each day.  For children, there may be a gift of candy or tiny toy to increase the excitement for the coming Christmas in each of the doors or envelopes of the Advent Calendar.  Ideally, adult Christians will use the Advent Calendar and the Candles at the Service as a way to make a special effort to pray, meditate, and look at what the meaning of Christ’s coming is for everyday life. Just as a New Year's resolution starts well and means well, Advent is the opportunity to be intentional about preparing for and renewing our commitment to Jesus as our Savior.  The seasons of the Liturgical Year that follow are designed to help us remember and continuously renew and re-commit.

     In several denominations, notably Episcopal/Anglican, United Methodist, Evangelical Lutheran, United Church of Christ, some branches of Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic, we follow a Lectionary – that basically means we all use the same Scripture readings for the same Sunday/Week/Day. There are always exceptions here and there but mostly we can be fairly sure of what is being used widely which helps our own individual prayer planning. 

     Also in several denominational Liturgies, we use Intercessory Prayers.  In the case of the Episcopal Church, they are also known as The Prayers of the People.  They are led by a lay reader and the congregation has a response.  The Book of Common Prayer has six different forms of the Prayers of the People but there is also the allowance for the Prayers to be written by a congregation, an individual, or even be extemporaneous.  To that end, the Rector of my local parish asked me to pen the Prayers of the People for Advent weeks 1 and 2.  Then I was asked by another group to write the other two weeks as well.  For each set I will give the references for the Scripture from the current Revised Common Lectionary which inspired my thoughts.  The reader reads each one with the response being in the boldface.  You can use them in a Service, a small group, or on your own as a meditation. They are available to everyone who wants them and all I ask is attribution, a copy of how you use them, and they may not be sold or charged for in anyway.  I hope they will inspire you to commit yourself to preparing for the coming of God in Jesus, to the renewal of your life, and to the Hope that will fill us with Joy upon His arrival!

THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE – Advent, Week 1   
Readings:  Isaiah 2:1-5, Ps 122, Romans 3:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44

~ O God of Hope, as the approaching winter brings us into ever shorter and darkening days, help us to prepare ourselves for the radiant light that will announce the birth of our Savior.

May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.

~ O God of Hope, the nations, states, and cities of Your Earth continue to battle one another and their own peoples, even in our home streets and neighborhoods. Give us Your strength to work together to melt guns into cooking pots and drones into tractors; let us want and learn to turn warring into peacemaking.  

May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.

~ O God of Hope, we pray especially for the peace of Jerusalem, the ancestral and spiritual home of all of us who are the children of Abraham so that peace in that City will spread among her children everywhere.

May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.
 
~ O God of Hope, as the weather turns bitter, cajole us to seek and serve Christ in all and especially to provide necessities for those among us without shelter, food, or loved ones in this season of Waiting, Joy, and Excess.

May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.

~ O God of Hope, we send you our prayers for those who are ill and for those who help them so that fear and pain may be relieved and replaced with healing in spirit, mind, and body. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)

May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.

~ O God of Hope, teach us to give the gift of listening and comfort without platitudes to those who are in mourning; and to remember in prayer those who have gone ahead to prepare the way for us. (add your own petitions silently or aloud)
 
May all who love You, prosper in Your Peace.

 
~ O God of Hope, give us the fortitude to turn away from all that glitters falsely and turn toward the coming light of the Son of Man.  Let us charge our spirits with Your love and shop for the light of Christ ‘til we drop into the arms of Jesus and everlasting life.

Prepare us, Lord, for the coming of Your Reign

~ O God of Hope, wake us from the sleep of complacence and keep us alert and active in Your service, awaiting the unknown hour of the coming of Christ Jesus.

Prepare us, Lord, for the coming of Your Reign


The Celebrant adds:  O God of the Present and of the Future, keep us ever watchful for the signs of Your works and wonders as we prepare ourselves and each other for the renewal of the face of Your Earth as the New Jerusalem, through the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

 

These Prayers and those for the next three weeks are available for use as long as they are not sold or charged for in anyway.  All other content and photos on this blog are proprietaryPlease contact me at leeosophy@gmail.com for further information.
 
I beg a pardon from my friends in the Southern Hemisphere as I am well aware that your
approaching summer is giving you more light, rather than less as my first prayer indicates!