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Prayers of the People: Advent 1

God of our beginning and our end,
we confess to you that we live in a world that needs your mercy now more than ever.
As we celebrate joyfully in anticipation of your coming son,
we recognize that joy does not come as easily to everyone’s lips.
So many people are using their lips to cry out for healing in a broken world.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray this day especially for children in places of violence,
who struggle to find happiness and fulfillment,
who hunger for love and compassion.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for women and men who are the victims of domestic violence,
who endure pain and physical abuse,
who long for peace and healing.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for people who suffer from alcoholism and substance abuse,
who seek an escape from that which they cannot solve by themselves,
who despair at seeing no way out.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for worshiping communities of all faiths that seek to heal the world,
who preach love in the face of hate and welcome the stranger as a friend,
who work to better themselves and share their blessings with others.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for those dear to us who struggle with cancer and other illnesses,
who desire comfort in the face of constant pain,
who wait for healing and peace.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for those who will call Maureen’s Haven their home this winter,
who shiver in the cold and fear the unknown,
who search for people to acknowledge them as human.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones recently,
who grieve the loss of children and parents and other family and friends,
who find the holidays a difficult time where joy is hard to find.
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We pray for those who we lift up to you in silence or out loud…
(personal petitions may be made here)
Gracious God, be mindful of your mercy.

We trust that you are a God of righteousness, mercy, and steadfast love.
We hope for the day when you will wipe away every tear
and death and pain will be no more.
Until that day comes, be mindful of your mercy and forget not your children.
This we pray in you holy and merciful name. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

dedication: usher in your kingdom

We thank you, Gracious God, for the gifts you have given us.
We return money to you that we might do the work of your Son,
and usher in your kingdom here and now
as we wait and hope for the coming of our salvation in flesh. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

illumination: lost

Guiding God,
without the presence of your Holy Spirit,
we are hopelessly lost on this Advent journey.
Come to us in this place
as we gather to hear your Word.
Open our hearts to receive your Word
and our minds to understand it. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

confession: prepared

call to confession
We are called to lift up our souls to God.
Often, we would prefer only to lift up the parts of our soul that we are proud of.
But it is equally important that we lift up to God our sins as well.
Let us do so together with honesty and courage.
Prayer of Confession
We are told to be on guard, to be prepared for your coming.

We confess, merciful God, that too often we are lazy
and do not trouble ourselves with the prayerful sabbath
that is required on this Advent road.
Help us to be alert at all times,
to be aware of your presence in our lives.
Make us to know your ways, O Lord;
teach us your paths and lead us in your truth.
This pray in your holy and merciful name. Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon
The prophet Jeremiah reminds us
that the days are surely coming
when God will fulfill the promise God made to us.
A righteous branch is springing up!
God shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
The Lord is our righteousness!
Friends, I proclaim to you that our sins are forgiven!
Alleluia! Amen!

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

Prayer: hopeful travels

Gracious God,
without the hope we have in you
we would be pitied above all.
With hearts open and thankful,
we come before your presence to wait, watch, and wonder.
We ask that you would come to us as we are
but not leave us as we were.
May we emerge from these travels
having found your newborn son
and having found our true selves along the way.
This we pray in the name of our coming Savior. Amen.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

CTW: Advent has come

Advent has come and along with it another journey in need of beginning.
We gather in hopeful anticipation of our Savior’s birth.
This journey of waiting will have moments of sabbath and service.
We take a break from our busy lives to ponder and wonder.
As we seek the newborn king, worship is that which directs our search.
We seek that which has saved and will save us forevermore.
Come, let us worship and seek our savior with hope and thanksgiving!

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

hymn: Lord I Lift My Soul To You

A paraphrase of Psalm 25, set to Aberystwyth (7.7.7.7.D).

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Submitted by Rev. Stephen Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY. Permission is given for use in worship–please do not remove copyright information.