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.
in the Days Before Advent
the Sunrise During Dark, Mornings of Advent
for Visitors to My Home
Over My To-Do List
in the Kitchen During Advent
with my spouse in bed on a December morning.
through Advent - Have I missed it?
as I Consider the World Situation
for Christmas after the loss of a Loved One
Prayer in the Days Before Advent
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
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
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
Praying Over My To-Do
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"
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
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.
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?
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
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
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
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.