a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: God’s Anointed

People of God, Jesus comes to bring God’s mercy to all people.
Therefore we are bold to sing our prayers
to the one whose reign is justice, peace, and joy:

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 1

We pray for those who are captive to violence, oppression, and sin.
We pray for all who are hungry, sick, sorrowing, or afraid.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 2

We pray for everyone who longs for new beginnings.
We pray for those who celebrate and rejoice.
We pray for all who travel to be with families,
and we pray for those who celebrate the birth of the Savior alone.
We pray for the gift of peace, in our hearts and in our world.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 3

We pray for those in positions of power,
for those who have more wealth and power than they realize,
and for those whom we are called to serve.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 4

Let your kingdom come in this world, O God,
and let our hearts welcome the birth of the Holy Child,
who teaches us to pray as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer


Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, IA

opening prayer: silence

One:     We come into your holy place, O God, hoping for a glimpse of your presence

All:       Silence us when we allow our voices to drown out yours.

            Silence us when our words in the sanctuary and our actions outside do not line up.

            Into that silence, speak again your word of life and your call to live the gospel.

One:     Help us to be still and know that you are God.

Make space in our hearts and minds to trust your word—and not just our hearts and minds,

but also our choices and actions.

All:       Tune our voices to sing of your glory, to share your good news.

            And then open our lips, and our mouths shall proclaim your praise. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

offering prayer for Advent

Gracious God,
some people give large amounts of money,
some people, like Mary and Joseph, give smaller amounts,
but sacrifice equally, if not more.
We give you thanks for offerings of all amounts,
and ask that you bless them equally
that they may do the work of your Son.  Amen.


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

POP–Advent 2

God of all Grace and Peace,
as we continue this advent journey,
we come to you in all honesty and courage
to lift up to you our souls that we might be heard
and your good works proclaimed.

We pray to you especially this day for those who find this season difficult,
for those for whom “’tis the season” rings empty in broken hearts,
for those who have lost loved ones and for those whose loved ones suffer.

We pray to you for those, like Joseph and Mary, who are social outcasts.
We acknowledge that we often do not recognize many in this world
because they don’t look like us,
because they don’t have money like us,
because they don’t act like us,
because they don’t believe like us.
We ask your help to acknowledge the humanity in all persons
so that, unlike Joseph and Mary, they might have a place to stay,
a place to call home, a place to spend the night.

We pray for pastors, choir directors, church workers,
and all others for whom this is not always a season of sabbath,
but a season of increased work.
May the work they do be blessed and be given as an offering to your holy name.

We pray for those who suffer from physical and mental illnesses,
for those who suffer from depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder,
for those who have been diagnosed with cancer and other ailments,
for those whose physical disabilities keep them isolated from others.

We pray for those who need your light the most.
We pray especially for those in our hearts,
which we name before you in silence or out loud…

In all goodness and mercy,
hear our prayers this day, O Lord,
and remember your promise to keep us and to save us.

Through the reign of your Son, and the power of your Holy Spirit,
lead us with joy, in the light of your glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that comes only from you. Amen.

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

confession: trust the promise

Gracious and steadfast God,
you come to us with news of hope, freedom, and restoration.
We confess that we have not believed your word
or trusted your promise.
We have been silent when we could have spoken your mercy,
selfish when we could have shared our time and gifts,
and timid when we could have shined your light into the world.
God of compassion, hold us gently.
Forgive what we have done or failed to do.
Free us from the shadow of death,
and guide our feet into the way of peace,
through Jesus Christ.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

illumination: light to our path

God of all peace and joy,
send your Spirit to this place
to bless this our reading of your word
that it may be a lamp to our feet
and a light unto our path. Amen.


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

confession: in the wilderness

Call to Confession
Like John the Baptist and like the Israelites,
we often find ourselves in wildernesses.
Sometimes, the toughest wildernesses are the ones we build ourselves.
Join me in confessing the wild sin that so often takes over our lives.


Prayer of Confession
Forgiving God,
in this season of Advent,
we welcome the coming of your light
in a world filled with darkness.
We confess to you the ways in which we have added to that darkness
rather than obeyed our call to live as children of the light.
We ask your forgiveness:
for times when we worship violence and belittle peace,
for times when we fight amongst ourselves,
for times when we forget that we are all children of God,
for times when we do not stand up for the helpless among us.
By your tender mercy,
may the dawn from on high break upon us,
and give light to those of us that sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. Amen.


Assurance of Forgiveness
By the mercy and grace of our Good God,
we may live in peace with one another
for we have been forgiven
and Christ welcomes us
as a parent welcomes home a long-lost child.
Alleluia! Amen!


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

Prayer: prepare

God of our Lives,
we prepare for every important event in our lives,
weddings, funerals, baptisms, graduations, ordinations.
Help us this day prepare for the most important event in our lives:
the coming of your son to save us! Amen.


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

CTW: lift up

Lift up your hearts, people of God,
for the Lord has looked favorably upon us
and is sending us his beloved son.
He is raising up for us a mighty savior
in the house of his servant David.
God is showing the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our ancestors Abraham and Sarah,
that we might serve him without fear.
We go before the Lord, following John the Baptist,
to prepare the way of the Lord.
Come, let us worship God
and listen to the voice crying out in the wilderness.


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

confession: your love is at work, yet we resist

Call to Confession

God calls us to rest in grace, to let down our guard and be truthful about ourselves and the world. When we allow some breathing room, we can see the Spirit moving, calling us to a new way of life. Before God, with all the people of God, let us confess our brokenness and make room for healing. Let us pray.

Prayer of Confession

Your Love is hard at work, O God. Yet we resist, insisting we must do the work ourselves. We resist, unwilling to allow the undeserving to be loved. We resist, wanting to control the methods and outcomes. We forget to give thanks, instead wavering between trying harder and giving up. Forgive our hard-heartedness, and remind us that you are Love. Forgive our narrow vision, and turn us again to walk your way. Forgive our ingratitude, and open us to receive as well as give. Free us from our selfish desires, and make room for your work to grow in us.


Assurance of Forgiveness

Hear this good news: God is at work in you. Live this truth: God’s grace is more than enough for whatever you carry. Know that you are forgiven, loved, and free.

We will rejoice and be glad! Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL