A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Prayers of the People: Promises, Promises, 4th Sunday of Advent

for December 21, 2014, 4th Sunday of Advent, Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Canticle 15 (Lk 1:46-55), Romans 16:25-27, Luke 1:26-38

           "Then Mary said, 'Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.'" [Luke 1:38]

         Here are we, expectant siblings, waiting for the "once in a lifetime event" that we experience every year. It is exciting to anticipate and yet, are we oblivious or merely complacent as to what we are truly waiting for? Or, more importantly, Who have we promised to prepare for, to wait for, to follow?  
         Maybe it's time to re-evaluate what our coming Christ-Mass really means to our everyday life, to dig deep and listen, to examine the promises we have made in moments of true devotion and in times of crisis, the promises kept and the ones we meant to keep in the moment they were made.
         Now also is a moment, rare in Episcopal/Protestant theology, to celebrate the crucial role of Mary in our Salvation - not merely as the Theotokos, God-Bearer - but even more so because she "...found favor with God." [Luke 1:30a] It is because of this favor acknowledging her devotion, because she heard God's word and believed, because she was faith-filled and faithful, that she was chosen to bring us the fulfillment of God's ultimate Promise. This week we journey from the Annunciation to the birth of our Christ...it all looks quite promising. 
         

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God of Greatness, God of Mercy, our anticipation accelerates on this fourth Sunday of waiting and preparation, as we journey from Prophecy to Nativity. We are at the threshold of the fulfillment of Your promise of a Messiah. Help us to detach from the external, commercial, and earth-bound noise to listen deeply within ourselves to discover how we hear and accept Your call to each of us.
                                               
                                     O LORD Most High
            RESPONSE:  Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

~ As we wait expectantly and with hope for the coming of our Savior, let us be diligent in imparting our expectations of tolerance, peace, and cooperation to those who govern in this world, this country, and this community.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    O LORD Most High
                                    Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

~ God of Greatness, God of Mercy, in this season of immense joy for many, we ask special blessings for those who are suffering from debilitating illness, serious depression, or any life-limiting physical or emotional barriers, and also for those who give them love and support. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    O LORD Most High
                                    Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

~ God of Greatness, God of Mercy, even as the pain of fresh and remembered grief is heightened at this time of year, let us feel the consolation of Your peace as we commend our loved ones to unending joy in everlasting life with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                    O LORD Most High
                                    Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

~ God of Greatness, God of Mercy, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                    O LORD Most High
                                    Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

~ God of Greatness, God of Mercy, as Mary answered the call to live a life of faithfulness and devotion to Your will, so have those that You, and we, have chosen to lead us to a more spiritual and godly life through example, worship, and pastoral care. Grant them continuing renewal of faith to inspire our own faith and practice as we journey each day in Your love. We pray especially for: add your own petitions
                                                                          
                                    O LORD Most High
                                    Grant us the humility to live according to Your word and will

The Celebrant adds: O God our Strength and our Salvation, help us to be patient and prayerful in these few days left of waiting, that we may wisely discern and follow what is truly Your will, not our own will imposed onto You. Grant us increasing wisdom and the courage of an active faith. We ask through our Lord Jesus, the Christ who is Coming again and yet Risen, and through the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit who together with You, live and reign as God Almighty, in past, present, and forever.  Amen.





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