Prayers for Advent from Light For the Journey

Last week’s Light for the Journey prayers were refocused by the tragic happenings in Newtown CT as represented by this beautiful prayer by Bonnie Harr. However there were still some beautiful Advent prayers posted during the week.

In this season of waiting breathe in life

God in this season ,
Suspended between hope and fulfillment,
Let we never forget what you have done.
May we be overwhelmed by your mercy,
Which flows in wave after wave.
May we be honest about the darkness within us,

And perceptive of the light around us.
May we make straight the path for the Lord,
That together we may see God’s glory revealed.
(Adapted by Christine Sine rom weekly Advent reflections by Mark Pierson)
http://adventinart.org/
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May we never be afraid
to come to you in prayer,
bring those things
that trouble us
or cause us pain
and lay them at your feet.
May we never be afraid
to come to you in faith,
kneel and reach out
to touch your hem

or grasp your hand
knowing our needs are met.
May we never be afraid
to come to you as Lord,
acknowledge you
as Son of God
and in your strength
tell others of your Grace.

(www.faithandworship.com)

Faith is the gift
God in this season of waiting,
May we still our hearts,
slow our steps,
and take time to listen.
May we lay aside our distractions,
and open our eyes to see the path,
that leads to the place
where Christ is born afresh in our hearts.
(Christine Sine)
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God we awaited the unexpected,
The wonder of Christ’s birth,
The glory of your breaking in upon us,
From darkness to light,
From fear to hope,
From sorrow to joy,
We watch for the glimpses,
Your new world coming, breaking upon us now.
(Christine Sine)
This day is your gift,
freely offered,
accepted in gratitude,
proclaimed to the world.
This day is your gift,
Thank you, Lord.

(www.faithandworship.com)

Thank you for scripture fullfilled
In our moments of doubt
and unbelief,
when worldly pressure
or circumstance
become the distance
between us,
draw near, we pray.
Remind us of the grace
that we first knew,
your healing touch,

the Father’s love,
the Spirit’s breath.
Grant us courage,
a faith that endures
and the sure knowledge
that you are with us
in our journeying,
now and always.

(www.faithandworship.com)

To you O Lord we bring our lives,
troubled, broken or at ease,
a sacrificial offering
for you to use.
Take away our selfishness
and teach us to love as you loved.
Take away our sense of pride
and show us the meaning of humility.
Take away our blindness
and show us the world through your eyes.

Take away our greed
and teach us how to give as you gave.
Show us your ways
Teach us your paths
That we might walk with you more closely
Our hand in your hand
Our feet in your footsteps
From the baby in a stable
To eternity, Amen

(www.faithandworship.com)

Even When Our World is Broken by Bonnie Harr

Even When Our World is Broken by Bonnie Harr

Prayers for the Journey – Advent prayers for the week

Not surprisingly this week prayers posted at Light for the Journey have focused on Advent and our waiting for the coming of Christ. Lots of beautiful rich prayers about this season of preparation. Enjoy

Bonnie Harr My heart is a Manger

Lord Jesus Christ we await your coming,
We wait filled with hope,
Knowing your light will shine in the darkness.
We wait anticipating your peace,
Believing that one day it will fill our world.
We wait embracing your love,
May we reach out to share it with our neighbours.
We wait with joy,
Bubbling us in expectation of your birth.
Lord we wait,
Come soon and fill us with your life.

Christine Sine 2012

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Let us kneel in the darkness,
Until we see God’s light emerge.
Let us wait with hope filled hearts,
As Christ’s image grows within us and shows us life.
Let him speak to us and teach us love,
Until we open our hearts to be his home.

Christine Sine 2012

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advent

eyes straining to see
dim light, dark glass, confusion
God’s future unfolds

longing, not ready
distracted by life’s worries

how long will I wait?appearing godly
barren soil destroys new life
revealing parched soul

another year gone
unplanned, unprayed, disjointed
all creation waits

advent calls my name
scraping scales of death from eyes
God’s future unfolds

Immanuel

St. Nicholas’ Day, 2009 AFWade

———————————————-
God be present.001
Advent God,
we journey with you,
to Bethlehem’s stable
and a new-born King,
ears attuned
to the song of angels,
eyes alert
for Bethlehem’s star.
Forgive us
if on our journey

if we are distracted
by the tempting offers
of this world.
Keep our hearts aflame
with the hope
of Christmas,
and the promise
of a Saviour. Amen(www.faithandworship.com)

———————————————
Alleluia the Christ child comes,
And we await his birth.
Let us throw off our distractions,
And allow the chaos to settle.
Let us watch for the signs,
And listen to the messengers.

Let us stand on tiptoe,
And shout aloud and sing.
Something new is emerging,
Something new is being birthed.
——————————————
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait in joyful expectation,
Draw close, Lord Jesus Christ,
Shed your light on all that is filled with darkness.
The coming of our Lord is near,
And we wait with hope filled hearts,
Draw close, God’s beloved son,
Teach us the wonder of your all embracing love.
Christine Sine 2012
———————————————
Let us prepare our hearts as we await the coming of our Lord,
Let us watch for the one who heard our cries and shouldered the suffering of our world,
Let us anticipate the coming of Christ’s eternal world with wholeness, reconciliation and plenty for all.
Let us wait in expectation for the day when God’s glory is revealed in all its fullness.
Christine Sine 2012
————————————————
The Advent story
of hope and mystery,
anticipation,
preparation,
a kingdom
of this world and the next,
and a king
appearing when we least expect.
Heaven touching earth,
the footsteps of the divine

walking dusty roads
as once they did in Eden,
and a people,
searching for a Saviour
and walking past
the stable.
Open eyes and hearts,
that this might be
an Advent of hope to the world.(www.faithandworship.com)

This is a time for preparation - John Birch

Celebrating Advent With Kids – New for 2012

St Nicholas with kids

St Nicholas with kids

Advent is almost here. And our theme for daily reflections this year is Let Us Wait As Children Wait. In preparation for that I thought that it would be good to update my Advent resource list for Celebrating Advent With Kids which is one of the all time favourite posts on this blog.

A couple of days ago I added this post:  10 Ways to Help Kids Give Back At Christmas but realize that there are a lot of other ways to help prepare children for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

1. Make an Advent wreath with your kids. This is a fun activity that prepares your child for this important season in the Christian calendar.

2. Start a new Advent tradition that revolves around the lighting of the Advent candles. Use your Advent wreath as a centerpiece . Every night at dinner, let one of your children light the candle and say an advent prayer or sing a song. I love these Advent candle light readings from World Vision Canada. As you become more comfortable with this tradition you may also like to tell stories from past Advent celebrations or about the story of Christ and what he means to you and your family.

3. Make or buy an Advent calendar. I  love the suggestion from the post Celebrating Advent with Children to make an Advent calendar with matchboxes and placing slips of paper in each one with different activities to do each day. For example, one day you might read a particular book or Bible passage, make Christmas cookies for a lonely neighbor, or sing Christmas carols together. The combination of inward reflection and outward caring is wonderful. There are some other great suggestions in this post Celebrating Advent with Children too so check it out.

Countdown Christmas Traditions also has a fun kid friendly Advent calendar.  As you click on each day of Advent you read about traditions in different countries of the world.

CAFOD: Just One world has some great Advent liturgies available as well as a downloadable Advent calendar for kids.

4. Set up a nativity set. There are several ways that this can focus your child on the real meaning of Christmas. Set it up with the manger empty and the wise men at the other end of the room or house. Throughout the Advent and Christmas season the wise men move closer to the manager and of course on Christmas morning the Christ child appears in the manger.

5. The nativity set is a great way to focus your children on gifts for Jesus too. You might like to consider some of the suggestions in my post from a couple of days ago  10 Ways to Help Kids Give Back At Christmas. Or you might like to consider this idea. On the first Sunday of Advent, each child in the family receives an empty manger. An oatmeal box covered with bright paper will do as well. At bedtime, the children draw straws for each kind deed performed in honor of Baby Jesus as his birthday surprise. The straw are placed in the child’s manger or box daily. It is amazing how much love a child can put into Advent when s/he is preparing for his redeemer’s coming in grace. On Christmas, each child finds an infant in his manger, placed on a small table or a chair beside his or her bed. Usually it is a tiny doll, beautifully dressed. This custom fills the child with a longing in Advent, and provides an image of the redeemer as the first happy glance in the morning and the last impression at night during the entire Christmas season.

6. Explore Christmas traditions from around the world with your kids and discuss the possibility of adapting some of these as part of your own celebration during the Advent and Christmas season.  Christmas Around the World has a wonderful description of traditions from a variety of countries that you might like to discuss.  The Worldwide Gourmet has a wonderful array of recipes associated with the Advent and Christmas season in many different parts of the world.  Just reading through some of these had my mouth watering.

7. Memories for the New Year – Reflect on the previous year and capture children’s memories that can become part of your family and church story. Capture these on camera, draw pictures, write songs or have older children journal. I love this idea from the United Methodist Communications. You might also like to check out some of the resources they suggest. (I have not had time to do this yet.)

More resources for celebrating as a family here.

8. Separate Gift Giving From Christmas Day. When I was on the mercy ship Anastasis, we always celebrated St Nicholas day. I think that this is a wonderful tradition that can separate the celebration of Christ’s birth from the giving of gifts. Our friends Ricci and Eliacin celebrate another tradition where the giving of gifts is associated with the coming of the wise men on the Eve of Epiphany.

There are obviously many other ways to celebrate Advent with kids – we are only limited by our imaginations and by the imaginations of our children who are likely to come up with far better ideas than we ever could. So if you have creative ways of celebrating during this season I would love to hear from you.

9. Check out other resources from Advent conspiracy.

Prayers for the Third Sunday of Advent – Draw Close to the Love of God

Aboriginal Christmas (source unknown)

Draw Close to the Love of God

Christmas is coming fast and the frenzy is building.  For many there is not time to rest or take time in the presence of God.  And I must confess that for me too it has been a very busy season as we head to Australia tomorrow and I have been preparing posts for the upcoming week.  However I make sure that I take at least a few minutes each morning to focus on the coming of Christ and all that his Advent means to me and to our world.

I thought that you might enjoy the prayers that I have been writing as a result of that.  I have been posting them each morning on the facebook page for Light for the Journey.  Let me know which you like the best.

God draw us close as we await the Advent of your Son
Into the embracing arms of a mother
Into the compassionate care of a father
God draw us close
Into your loving omnipotent presence
You who never tire of coming into our world draw us close
As we await the Advent of your Son

__________________________________

Come Lord Jesus Come
You who are the child who is love
You who are the child who gives life
You who are the child in whom all things find completion

Come Lord Jesus Come,
Lead us to the fullness of life
Where peace and righteousness kiss
Where truth and faithfulness embrace

____________________________________

God who is justice
God who is righteous
God who is compassion
Keep us in your unfailing love

______________________________

The advent of our Lord is near
Bringing light and life and love into our world
Let us draw close rejoicing in the salvation of God
Let us be bearers of God’s light
Proclaimers of God’s love
Bringers of God’s life to people everywhere

_________________________________

Love is the heartbeat of God listen to the rhythm
Joy is its gift, catch the rhythm
Peace is its result, Live the rhythm
Be drawn into the kingdom of God

_____________________________________

We sing for joy tonight and rest secure in God’s promises
The ruler of all worlds, the shepherd of creation
Jesus Christ has come into the world and has given us new life

_______________________________________________

Lord whose light shines in the darkness, Have mercy upon us,
Christ whose birth gives hope to all creation Have mercy upon us,
Lord whose advent brings us joy and love Grant us peace this night

___________________________________________

Light shines in the darkness
A flame that brightens every day
Leading us towards the birth of Christ
Guiding us to the one who is the light of the world

_________________________________________

Light of the world draw near
Shine on us with your guiding presence
Shine in us with your truth and forgiveness
Shine through us mercy and love
Light of the world draw near

________________________________________

On this Advent night come close O God
Draw us into your embrace
Open our hearts to welcome you
Come close O God, draw near
Fill the emptiness within
Let your love overflow in us, through us, beyond us

_______________________________________________

Draw close O God, You who come in human form
Draw close and teach us the ways of peace
Draw close, come once more into our world
Come once more into our lives
Come once more and make us whole

Jesus Is Close How Do We Draw Near – Posts for First Week of Advent

The first week of Advent is drawing to a close and the blog series Jesus is Close How Do We Draw Near, is well underway.  There have been some great posts contributed and next week should be just as good.  I hope that you will join us and also let your friends know about these reflections

Posts from the First Week of Advent

Sunday: William Kurelek Nativity

Monday: Stan Thornburg – Advent in the Manner of Friends

Monday: Live in Expectation – Tara Malouf

Tuesday: Steve Wickham – Approaching Vanishing Point of Drawing Near

Wednesday: Advent by Phil Cunningham

Thursday: Dave Bayne – Attentive to God’s nearness

Thursday: Jeff Borden – Preparing for Jesus through Remembering, Longing and Preparing

Friday: Kathy Escobar – Making Room for the Unexpected

Friday: Melanie Clark Pullen – Jesus Is Near How Do We Draw Close

Saturday: The End of the First Week of Advent and I Need to Draw Close – Christine Sine