Posted by: Elizabeth | December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Prayer

I have the privilege of leading prayers at our church most Sundays, and will do so tonight, as well. So I thought I’d post my Christmas Eve prayer here for you all to pray with me. It’s inspired (and sometimes copied…) by a bunch of others, so if parts sound familiar you probably have the same books I have. But I hope it speaks to you regardless.

Peace to you.

 

We have been busy, God. Busy building, busy buying, busy making plans, busy striving, busy hoping, busy praying you will come. Stop us in our busyness this night, O God. Quiet down the noise that fills our lives so that in this hour we can hear the simple angel song once again: “Do not be afraid. He is born. Go and see.” Take us to that humble stable, that most unexpected place for heaven and earth to meet, so that we can experience the joy of your love once again.

But before we go to the manger ourselves, let us pray for the needs of the world you created and came to save:

We pray this night for those who are poor, who are cold, who are hungry, who are afraid.

We pray for those who are lonely, and those who mourn.

We pray for those whose lives are ravaged by war.

We pray for those whose bodies or minds have failed them, whose spirits are downcast.

We pray for those all around us who are in such deep need of some Good News.

We pray for our leaders, those who celebrate with us and those who continue to work this night.

We pray for your church, and we join in the worldwide rejoicing which is taking place even now in many lands and in many languages.

And we pray for all those who rejoice with us this night, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude of saints that no one can number, with whom, in Christ, we are one body.

Hear our prayers, O God. And speak to us again this night. Help us to hear the old old story as if for the first time. Light our way, direct our steps, stir our hearts, that we may be transformed by the birth of one who came to love and to save, one whose likeness, we pray, may be formed even in us. Abide with us, O God, this night and always, with the peace that only you can bring. Come into this troubled world and bring your great light to dawn on our darkness. Shine in us, that we may go forth from this place singing the song of the angels ourselves: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace.

We offer these prayers humbly to you, O Christ, who taught us to pray, saying:

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. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

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