Thursday, December 18, 2008

Prayers for the week before Christmas

I am very glad to be part of a team that writes for World in Prayer. I think I've told you about this before: every three months or so, I'm assigned to write prayers that get posted on this website and are also emailed to people in many different countries and from many denominations. Andee Z. learned early on that I need reminding when it's my turn and I was very glad to get my reminder this morning. I like writing prayers. Here's what I came up with for today, one week before Christmas.


Through all that competes for our attention, we wait for you, O God. We take these moments to be still in your presence, and to remember those throughout the world who yearn for the coming of the Prince of Peace.

We pray for Gaza where militant Palestinian groups do not plan to renew a six-month ceasefire with Israel that expires on Friday the 19th.

We pray for Uganda where the peace process with the Lord’s Resistance Army was suspended after LRA leader, Joseph Kony, refused to sign a peace agreement.

We pray for the United States where a report has found top U.S. officials introduced and supported the use of torture to interrogate prisoners.

We pray for Greece where protests in Athens originally meant to protest police brutality have become violent.

We pray for peace.

Through all that fills us with anxiety, we wait for you, O God.

We pray for the governments of this and every land, that they may have wisdom to serve their people well.

We pray for those who are losing their homes, their jobs, their life savings in the wake of the world economic crisis.

And we pray for those who live in fear that they too might lose what they have worked hard to achieve.

We pray for peace.

Through all that fills us with sorrow, we wait for you, O God.

We pray for those who suffer from depression or loneliness or who mourn the loss of loved ones.

We pray for those who are estranged from their families or who suffer from abuse or neglect.

We pray for all who feel the separation between public holiday cheer and the private struggles of their lives.

We pray for peace.

We also give you thanks for the blessings of our lives, the blessings we recognize, the blessings that remain invisible to us.

We give thanks for the release of three former Guantanamo detainees sent home this week to Bosnia, and pray for those unjustly imprisoned.

We give thanks for the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri which has sent a team to Sudan to visit and work with its companion diocese in Lui.

We give thanks for all those who share generously of themselves and of their resources in this and every season.

We give you thanks for the changing of seasons, for the winter solstice, and for light.

Most especially we thank you for the light of the world, for the Sun of Righteousness, and for the light of your Son, Jesus Christ.

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it. May we share that light with the world, empowered by Christ’s love to love all we meet.

Prepare us for your coming, O God, that we may be a blessing to the world. Amen.

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