Just for today let us set aside everything vexing and start our preparations for the coming of our Lord.
The following is from Creighton University's Online Ministry. Please bookmark and visit every day for the daily prayers for Advent. It's free and a wonderful resource for all Christians.
From: Creighton University's Online Ministries
As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope. Three “advents” or “comings” shape our desire. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death. We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.
So, we begin with our longing, our desire and our hope.
When we wake up, each day this week, we could light that candle, just by taking a few moments to focus. We could pause for a minute at the side of our bed, or while putting on our slippers or our robe, and light an inner candle. Who among us doesn't have time to pause for a moment? We could each find our own way to pray something like this:
“Lord, the light I choose to let into my life today is based on my trust in you. It is a weak flame, but I so much desire that it dispel a bit more darkness today. Today, I just want to taste the longing I have for you as I go to the meeting this morning, carry out the responsibilities of my work, face the frustration of some difficult relationships. Let this candle be my reminder today of my hope in your coming.”Each morning this week, that momentary prayer might get more specific, as it prepares us for the day we will face. And as we head to work, walk to a meeting, rush through lunch, take care of errands, meet with people, pick up the phone to return some calls, answer e-mail, return home to prepare a meal, listen to the ups and downs of our loved ones' day, we can take brief moments to relate our desire for the three comings of the Lord to our life.
If our family has an Advent wreath, or even if it doesn't, we could pray together before our evening meal. As we light the first candle on the wreath, or as we simply pause to pray together our normal grace. Then, as we begin to eat, we can invite each other, including the children, to say something about what it means today to light this first candle.
Perhaps we could ask a different question each night, or ask about examples from the day. How am I getting in touch with the longing within me? How did I prepare today? What does it mean to prepare to celebrate his coming 2,000 years ago? How can we prepare to experience his coming into our lives this year? What does it mean for us now, with our world involved in so much conflict? How are we being invited to trust more deeply? How much more do we long for his coming to us, in the midst of the darkness in our world? In what ways can we renew our lives so we might be prepared to greet him when he comes again? Our evening meal could be transformed this week, if we could shape some kind of conversation together that lights a candle of anticipation in our lives. Don't worry if everyone isn't “good at” this kind of conversation at first. We can model it, based on our momentary pauses throughout each day, in which we are discovering deeper and deeper desires, in the midst of our everyday lives.
And every night this week, we can pause briefly, perhaps as we sit for a minute at the edge of the bed. We can be aware of how that one, small candle's worth of desire brought light into this day. And we can give thanks. Going to bed each night this week with some gratitude is part of the preparation for growing anticipation and desire.
Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people.
We await your coming. Come, O Lord.
We await your coming. Come, O Lord.
Prayers for the First Sunday of Advent
To you, my God, I lift my soul,
I trust in you; let me never come to shame.
Do not let my enemies laugh at me.
Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand,
they may be worthy to possess the heavenly kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever .
Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem dwell secure.
We begin Advent coming to the Lord who promises to keep us safe. In awe we say:“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul!”
Let's begin this week with a deeply felt prayer.
Even if we don't know exactly what we need or long for,
today, let's try to express our desire for God's help and assistance.
The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. Jeremiah 33He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
Today's Daily Reflection
To God our Father, who has given us the grace
to wait in graceful hope for the revelation of
our Lord Jesus Christ, let us make our prayer:
Show us your mercy, Lord.
Sanctify us in mind and body,
- keep us without sin until the coming of your Son.
Make us walk this day in holiness,
- and live upright and devout lives in this world.
May we be clothed in our Lord Jesus Christ,
- and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Lord, help us to stand watchful and ready,
- until your Son is revealed in all his glory.
I sense your power, your might
and I stand in awe, painfully aware
of how poor and weak I am before you.As I begin this Advent journey,
teach me to turn to you in my fear and sorrow.
I don't want to keep making my heart hard against you
turning a deaf ear to your invitation.Only you can help me to soften,
to be like the clay in your gentle potter's hands.