Prayers for the First Week of Advent (December 3-9, 2023)

The watchword for the week:
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:26

Gracious Savior, this week, we begin the journey of Advent.
This is a season of expectation and anticipation, a time of preparation and confession.
And so it is that we bring to the Lord a broken and contrite spirit which we know our God will honor.
We take this time to prepare for the coming Savior truly.
Rejoice greatly; shout for joy! See, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and brings salvation.
Thanks be to God. 

Psalm 80:1-7,17-19

1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
4 O Lord God Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O Lord God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Unto you, O God, in whom all things are known, and from whom nothing is hidden, we draw close by lifting our prayer of confession.

Gracious Lord Jesus, you come to us with the good news of salvation, but we often fail to notice. You come to us day by day, yet we close the doors of our hearts when it seems convenient to do things our own way. We ignore your presence and leadership and have lived as if we have no relationship with you. We have failed to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Forgive us, merciful Lord. May we now live so that the world will know that you have come. Amen. (Adapted from the Moravian Book of Worship, page 50)

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.
We are forgiven, and we praise you, Lord. May you lead us to live a new and nobler life today. Thanks be to God.

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts. Remember that 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 spoken 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 the right of your page (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever. Amen.

Christ, the Light of the world, empower us to shine as lights in this dark world of sin.
Christ, give our congregations and their members a desire to serve you by seeking out those who need a relationship with you.
O Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell within our hearts and lives.
We praise you, for you are good,
And your mercy endures forever. Amen
Come Lord Jesus,
Open our hearts to welcome you; let the Word become flesh in our hearts and in our lives. Amen.