The Act of Prayer – The First Sunday of Advent by John Birch

by Christine Sine


Scripture readings: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians1:3-9; Mark 13:24-27

Opening Prayer

Here we are again, Lord,
your children at your feet.
May this be a blessed time,
a precious time,
a getting-to-know-you-better time,
a family time,
Here we are again Lord;
bless us as we meet.


A light shines
through the darkness,
and hope comes to those
who wait patiently
for their salvation
to be revealed.
For your promises
will be fulfilled
both in this world
and in the next.
Human wisdom
withers away,
but your word,
once received,
endures eternally.


Here is a fire
within our hearts
ignited by your love and grace.
which we carry with us
on our walk with you:

Forgive us
when that flame is dampened
by the temptations
of the day.
By your Spirit’s breath
revive us.
Lord of light and life,
we pray.


In this season
of Advent and expectation,
may the lives we live
and the words we speak
be focused on thanksgiving,
even if this world,
as in days gone by,
would rather choose to ignore your coming.
Let our witness and testimony
be a compass,
pointing toward a different
and altogether more glorious destination.

Today’s prayers are written by John Birch and are published in his excellent new book The Act of Prayer: Praying Through the Lectionary.  which contains over 700 lectionary linked prayers. Used with permission

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