Prayers for the 3rd Week of Advent (December 12-18, 2021)

The Watchword for the week:
Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Luke 3:8

Stir up our hearts, O Lord,
to prepare the paths for your only-begotten Son:
that we may worthily serve you
with hearts purified by his coming.

Isaiah 12:2-6
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid,
for the Lord God is my strength and my might;
he has become my salvation.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
And you will say on that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations;

proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;  let this be known in all the earth.
Shout aloud and sing for joy O royal Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

A Confession of Sin

Preparing for the coming Savior means that we need to acknowledge our need for one. Let us prepare the way for the arrival of Jesus Christ by confessing our sins:
Forgive us, loving God, for the winding path upon which you have to travel to find us. As we bend to the self-centered influences of our culture, we lose sight of your intended will for us. Too often, we live by fear rather than by faith because we underestimate your power to heal the parts of us that are broken.  Give us the courage to correct the parts of us that have drifted from your influence. Bring us back to you so that we might respond to your grace by sharing it with others. Give us the courage to give you unhindered access to all of who we are and, in so doing, find ourselves blameless at your coming. 

Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to them and proclaim that they have suffered long enough, that their penalty is paid, and their sins are forgiven.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. AMEN. 

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be conveyed to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us. 

Giver of life and grace who dwells in the heavens, we lift our praise to you. We pray that the ways of heaven might be made real in our earthly lives as we, your children, seek to do your will. Give us today the food that we need. Forgive us as we seek to forgive those around us, and as we fix our eyes on you, keep us from temptation and deliver us from evil influences. May the pattern of our lives bring you honor, glory, and praise forever and ever. Amen. 

Christ, the Light of the world, empower us to shine as lights in this dark world of sin.
As we continue in this Advent season, enable us to seek your presence in our daily lives more faithfully.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Come and mold us, change us, use us.
We praise you, for you are good,
And your mercy endures forever. Amen.