Prayers for the First Sunday in Advent (November 29-December 5, 2015)

Portions of this prayer are adapted from the Liturgy for Advent 2, Moravian Book of Worship pages 54-58, used by permission of the Interprovincial Board of Communication of the Moravian Church.

We read the Watchword for the Week together – Jesus says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Luke 21:33

Sing to the Lord a new song, for God has done marvelous things.
Rejoice greatly, shout for joy! See, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and brings salvation. 

Psalm 25:1-10

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Hear the voice of John the Baptist calling to us from the wilderness, challenging us to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, to repent and to make our paths straight.

Gracious God, this Advent season stirs a longing to have Christ come alive within us, yet we allow ourselves to become enslaved to cynicism, selfishness, and greed. In a season for freely giving and receiving, we tend to live by debt and obligation. We rush from task to task, scarcely opening our eyes to the peace and beauty around us. We sing of one who was laid in a borrowed manger, but we ignore the poor and homeless around us. We decry the violence of a wicked king, yet we are too often silent in the face of abuse and injustice around us. For this and all our sins, forgive us. 

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to them and proclaim that they have suffered long enough, that their penalty is paid, and their sins are forgiven.
We are forgiven, may God lead us to live a new and nobler life today. Thanks be to God. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

O Lord, Hear our Prayer:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Christ, the Light of the world, empower us to shine as lights in this dark world of sin.
Christ, lead us into good stewardship of creation that we and our children may preserve and enjoy the world entrusted to us.
O Emmanuel, God with Us, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell within our hearts and lives.
We praise you, for you are good,
And your mercy endures forever. Amen.

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About Daily Prayers for Moravians

My name is Chris Giesler and I am blessed to be serving as Pastor of the Emmaus Moravian Church in Emmaus, PA. I am also privileged to serve as a Bishop of the world wide Moravian Unity. If you are ever in the area I would invite you to drop by for a visit. Please see our congregation's church web site at www.emmausmoravian.org. I live in Bethlehem, PA with my wife Tina. Our daughter, Martha, is a Moravian College graduate now teaching high school math. She is married to Matt, and now living in Harrisburg, PA. We also love being grand-parents to Addison (an inquisitive 6-year old) and Michael (an active 3-year old) and a new-born, Riley, who belong to our son Andrew, and his wife Amy.
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