Daily Prayers Friday, 3 December 2021
Welcome to our Friday prayer time.
I have just been looking at prayers I wrote during Advent last year. I noticed that for one of the Fridays in Advent, I referred back to my schooldays, when we were reminded that Advent is a time when we should be examining ourselves, seeking forgiveness for all our bad habits and wrongdoings, and resolving to do better in the future, in order to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. These days, we are more inclined to focus on looking forward to the birth of Christ and identifying Advent as a time of waiting and a time of hope. Perhaps it is appropriate for these two things to come together. If we want to be ready for Christ’s coming, then putting ourselves right with God could be the most important part of our preparation.
I’d like us to use the Bernadette Farrell hymn, ‘O God, you search me and you know me,’ as part of this preparation today. The hymn is based on Psalm 139, so you might like to look that up too.
O God, you search me, and you know me.
All my thoughts lie open to your gaze.
When I walk or lie down, you are before me
‘Ever the maker and keeper of my days.
You know my resting and my rising.
You discern my purpose from afar
And with love everlasting, you besiege me
In ev’ry moment of life or death, you are.
Before a word is on my tongue, Lord
You have known its meaning through and through.
You are with me beyond my understanding:
God of my present, my past and future, .
Although your Spirit is upon me
Still I search for shelter from your light.
There is nowhere on Earth I can escape you.
Even the darkness is radiant in your sight.
For you created me and shaped me,
Gave me life within my mother’s womb.
For the wonder of who I am, I praise you.
Safe in your hands, all creation is made new.
Let us pray:
A prayer for hope at Christmas from the Methodist website ‘allwecan.org.uk’
When angels visited the shepherds, they sang for peace on earth.
Yet as we look out on your world, we see that there is still much conflict, war, injustice and poverty.
When an angel visited Mary, he whispered to her not to be afraid.
Yet as we look out on our communities, we see much fear and anxiety, so much that is not as you would have it be, Lord God.
When you came, as a baby, to a refugee family 2000 years ago,
You showed the world that every human life matters,
That every person’s potential can be fulfilled,
And that there is hope for a better kind of world.
Come to us again this Christmas, come and bring your hope.
In Jesus’ name we pray,
And now, from the CAFOD website
God of Salvation,
Wake us up Lord!
The night is nearly over.
Let us begin our Advent journey.
Move us from our lives
Of greed and selfishness,
From our globalised world
Of inequality and exploitation,
To your kingdom
Of righteousness and mercy.
To a transformed world,
Where peace is built on understanding not weapons,
The poor are empowered to live their lives to the full,
Businesses are built on need not greed
And your Creation is nurtured not abused.
Wake us up Lord!
Let us live as people of the light.
And so, we ask,
God, our Guide and Comforter, keep us focused on you this Advent.
Fill our hearts with gratitude to you and love and care for others.
Bless those we love and surround them with your love and mercy.
We ask all our prayers in Jesus’ name.
Let us say the Grace together:
May the Grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.