Creighton University's Online Ministries

Advent Prayers

In every part of our Advent days, joyful or otherwise, we can turn to God in prayer.  These are suggested prayers for a variety of situations.  Use them or create prayers from your own heart to meet your own needs.  More prayers will be added throughout the weeks of Advent.

Prayer Index:
Halfway through Advent - Have I missed it?

Prayer in the Days Before Advent

Watching the Sunrise During Dark, Mornings of Advent

Preparing for Visitors to My Home

Praying Over My To-Do List

Working in the Kitchen During Advent

Praying Through Exhaustion

Shopping during Advent

Praying with my spouse in bed on a December morning.

Advent as I Consider the World Situation

Preparing for Christmas after the loss of a Loved One

Wrapping Gifts

 

 

 

Prayer in the Days Before Advent

My brother, Jesus. It happens every year. I think that this will be the year that I have a reflective Advent.

I look forward to Sunday and this new season, Jesus. But all around me are the signs rushing me to Christmas and some kind of celebration that equates spending with love.

I need your help. I want to slow my world down. This year, more than ever, I need Advent, these weeks of reflection and longing for hope in the darkness.

Jesus, this year, help me to have that longing. Help me to feel it in my heart and be aware of the hunger and thirst in my own soul. Deep down, I know there is something missing in my life, but I can’t quite reach for it. I can’t get what is missing.

I know it is about you, Jesus. You are not missing from my life, but I might be missing the awareness of all of the places you are present there.

Be with me, my dear friend. Guide me in these weeks to what you want to show me this Advent. Help me to be vulnerable enough to ask you to lead me to the place of my own weakness, the very place where I will find you the most deeply embedded in my heart, loving me without limits.

 

 

 

Watching the Sunrise During Dark, Mornings of Advent

Thank you.  What a gift this morning from you as I watched the blazing sunrise through a cloudy winter sky.  It is hard getting up these dark mornings, Lord, and yet you gift me with a sight that I miss at other times of year, when the weather is warmer and the sun rises before I get up.  I stared out the window at the red and purple light, gloriously framed by the gold of the rising sun.  "Be still, and know that I am God" was the only thing that came to me.  I watched in silence, filled with a sense of your presence in my life.

I am filled with gratitude this day for such a treasure and could feel it and see it as a gift from you. Thank you for your love.  Today, let me carry a sense of how much you love me to send me such a gift.  Let that awareness of your love change the way I treat others today. Let me be more reverent in the irritations of the day.  I ask your help to move through my errands and holiday preparations today with peace and a sense of your sunrise in my heart.  Your glory fills my spirit and I want only to give thanks with my life this day.

 

 

 

Preparing for Visitors to My Home

They are coming!  Oh, dear Lord, like the Wisemen wandering toward the stable, visitors are heading to my  house.  I am so excited about this visit.   But I can get so side-tracked about how my house looks, or the food that I serve.  I can only keep this prayerful with your help.

Help me to stay humble this Advent and Christmas season.  You invite us into the humility of the stable where you were born.  Help me to remember that humble-ness and the simple joy of your birth. Let me stay focused on my guests, not on myself and my worries about my house. Guide me in rejoicing in who these people are and in loving them freely.

 


 

Praying Over My To-Do List

I sit here with my list, Lord, and I know I need help finding a balance. I am so looking forward to Christmas Day, with the family here, the company, the wonderful celebration. But, Lord, there is SO much to do!  When will it all get done?  How will I maintain any semblance of inner peace in this "peaceful" season?

I think, Lord, that I need some balance in my life. I feel so torn between wanting to cook and fill my house with wonderful welcoming smells, and wanting to finish decorating the house. I have shopping to do, the house to clean and cards to write and mail.  When?  How?

Help me, guide me, Lord. Help me to set priorities around doing those things that will bring me closer to you. Maybe my house really is clean enough, or maybe I can ask my family for help. Can the cards wait until a quiet afternoon after Christmas?  Can my house decorations be simpler?  Is there more than a little ego involved when I want so desperately to have my house "magazine perfect" for the holidays?

Help me rediscover the joy of simplicity, Lord. Help me to remember what I am celebrating. Help me to find it in my heart to call out, "Come, Lord Jesus."

 


 

Working in the Kitchen During Advent

What joy this brings me, Lord.  Thank you for guiding me into the kitchen for some time of silence with you.  The room fills with wonderful smells and I share tastes and samples with my family as they make extra trips through the kitchen on days like this.  Thank you for each and every one of these special people in my family.  They are like the ingredients of my own life, adding spice and heat and wonderful flavor and melding together into a unique dish designed to glorify you. 

You know, God, cooking is quite a bit like my life.  It's messy, I get careless and sometimes things don't turn out as I had planned.  But in the mess of my life, that's where I can turn to you.  Help me when I have to deal with being so imperfect.  Bless me with humility when I grapple with my own poverty.  Let me feel how deeply you love me, even when all I have to offer is scorched and humble.

Be with me Lord, in this kitchen today.  Help me to take the time in this intimate silence with you, to pray for each person who will eat this food.  Allow me to remember all of those around the world who have so little food, and bless those who share what little they have. 

 

 

 

Wrapping gifts

Dear Lord, I am tired. I sit here surrounded by ribbons and paper, gifts and tags and I struggle to feel the spirit of giving.  I can barely remember which gift is for whom and at moments it all seems so far from your birth.  Help me to take this moment to think of the many gifts you have given to me, the many ways your grace has blessed my life.  Help me to remember that each gift is a tiny mirror of the generosity I see so clearly in your life and of the many ways you shower me with such lavish and undeserved love.  Let me sit here for just a moment and feel that joy in my heart.  Thank you.  Thank you.

 

 

 

Praying Through Exhaustion

Oh Lord, I am so tired.  It seems like the lists of to-do's get longer each day, the frenzy in my home each night gets wilder.  It seems like the holidays have barely started and already I am behind. 

Help me, dear Jesus.  Let me feel your loving arms wrap me tightly in the warm embrace of your endless love. Teach me to make choices about my time, to remember what is important this season and to say "NO" whenever my Yes would take me away from your peace.  Fill me with patience, love and a sense of humor. Remind me of your deep love for me and let the fire of that love be something I can share with everyone around me.

 

 

 

Halfway through Advent - have I missed it?

Dear Jesus,

It's halfway through Advent and I'm not sure what happened. I really wanted to make this a reflective and calm season, preparing for your birth and pondering how you came into this world in such a stunningly humble way. But it's so busy and I'm distracted and sometimes even short-tempered with those I love the most. Where are you in THAT?

I am discouraged and wish I could start over. But as I sit here in the rare moment of silence, I contemplate your birth. In a bed of straw, with the smell of manure everywhere. It's a mess in that stable ... and come to think of it, my life is a little messy, too. I suddenly see that it is not just into the mess of the stable but into my mess that you enter the world. You came into a humble place and that humility is often where I live my life - feeling guilty or distracted and wishing I were a better person. But if I stop thinking of myself and focus on you, I realize that there you are, waiting to love me, even though I have so many unfulfilled good intentions about prayer, so many desires of how to change this fleeting Advent season.

I can begin Advent today and make this season deeper by making room in my heart for you. I can take just a moment before I get out of bed in the morning and feel the empty place in my life I so often fill with my busy-ness. It is there I need you the most. Come, Lord Jesus. Come into that dark and lonely spot in my heart. You know what my needs are more than I do. Let me feel your love. If I only carry that thought with me each day, it will prepare me for Christmas.

Thank you, Jesus. It's not too late. You are waiting to enter my life today, where ever I let you in. Help me to open my heart in these remaining days.

 

 

 

Shopping during Advent

Dear God, as I look through my gift shopping list, I hold up to you each person listed on it. Slowly, one by one, I ask that the fire of your abundant love burn within each of them.  I pray that the gift I find for each person will bring joy into that life. 

But, help me to keep a balance this season, Lord. Let me keep my buying in perspective, not to spend more than I need to or can afford.  Let me not give in to the pressures of this world and not equate love with money spent. Let me always remember the many, many people who have so much less in material things. Help me to buy wisely, so that my choices will not burden those in other countries who are so deeply affected by this country's economy.

And finally, loving God, help me to find time in the frantic moments of each day to become centered on you.  Walking through a store, riding on the bus, hurrying down a street: let each of these times be moments when I can remember your incredible love for me and rejoice in it.
 
 

 

 

Praying with my spouse in bed on a December morning.

In the cold, dark early mornings of December, it can be difficult to leave the warmth of our beds.  This might be a good time to "risk" a new tradition - leaning over toward our spouse with a loving embrace and beginning our day with a prayer.
Dear Lord, thank you so much for the gift of this person in my life.  You know how much I rely on him/her, and need him/her. Every Advent season, it is so easy to get caught up in the frantic pace of holiday life. Help me to love my spouse more unselfishly and to give without wondering what I get back.  May this marriage you have called us into, be a way to glorify you in our lives, in every moment of this day.  Bless our family and keep them all safe today.   I ask this humbly and gratefully.

 


 

Advent as I Consider the World Situation

God of comfort, these times seem so uncertain, so scary.  The world seems darker than it has in the past and I am less sure of myself.  Maybe that's a good thing; maybe now I am turning to you with a realization that I need you so much more and that my life is not in my own control.  Let me not forget all of those around the world who are frightened at this moment.  Help those who are victims of terrorism and war.  Be with those who have lost so much in the past year.  Hold us all in your loving arms and let us be comforted by the strength and peace you want to much to offer us through the birth of your son, Jesus.  Thank you for the many gifts you offer us.

 

 

 

Preparing for Christmas after the loss of a Loved One

Such a loss!  Such a keen and tearing pain.  Even when I am in a crowded room, there is a loneliness I never knew existed.  Comforting God, I have turned to you so many times for solace, and I come again. While the world is bright and sparkling, my heart feels leaden and has an emptiness that cannot be filled.

Lord, how can I enter into this season of joy?  In my head I celebrate your birth into this world, but in my everyday life, I am filled with a grief that runs so very deep. You blessed me with a loving relationship and now it is gone from my life. How can I be faithful to that love and the memory of that love and my sorrow in this season of "Rejoice!"??

Tears are so close to the surface all the time and helpful friends who want to "keep me busy" don't seem to really understand that I need to embrace my grief.  I am afraid of letting go of the sadness and losing the deep love connection I had.   

Instead of entering into the Rejoice of Christmas, I long for the sorrow of Lent.  I beg you Lord, show me how the two are connected.  I ponder the name Emmanuel and know that it means "God with us."  With us.  With me in this world, in this sorrow.  If I look beyond my pain, I know that you, too, suffered so much in this world.  I never understood so clearly before that Emmanuel is what your nativity is really about.  You are in my world, in my pain.  

Thank you, Lord, for the loved one you blessed my life with.  Grant me now in my grief, a peace.  Give me a comfort that might not make the tears go away, but that lets me feel your presence as you take up a place deep in my heart, with me.

 

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