Prayer for the week | December 18, 2017

Holy God,

In the midst of all our hustle and bustle, in the midst of the additional social obligations and shopping of the season, call our hearts, once again, to wait, to rest, to Selah, in eager anticipation of your arrival. During this Advent season, prepare our hearts to meet you afresh and anew as we see you, through the birth of your Son, once again restoring creation. You make all things new; you enliven our hearts and souls, so that, through this season of Advent, we may find our hearts raised to their eternal home.

On this second Sunday of Advent, we recall that you came to bring peace. The angels announced to the shepherds “peace among those whom you favor.” Through your son, sent to that manger so many years ago, you chose to favor all people, bringing your word of salvation that carries with it the promise, the eager anticipation, indeed, the reality of peace on earth.

But God, we are all too aware of places around the world where peace does not reign. On this Sunday when we mark peace, we find a world not marked by peace, but by war and rumors of war. Engage those in power around the world to seek your ways of peace. Point us all toward actions that lead to peace, that lead to realizing the peaceable kingdom brought by your Son, born as a helpless infant so long ago.

For through that helpless infant, we are not a helpless people. You came to be Emmanuel, God with us. Inspire our hearts to that firm conviction that, because you are with us, peace is possible among us. Show us how, even in our own lives, through our businesses, through our interactions, through our words and deeds, we may be ambassadors for your peace. Peace is possible among us because we are not a helpless people, thanks to that helpless babe born so many Christmases ago.

Grant us such faith that, no matter what war or rumors of war come our way, we can say with conviction in our hearts the words of your son: my peace I give you, my peace I leave you; be not afraid.

Peace on earth, goodwill to men.

Amen.

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