Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Life Is Advent: Prayers in Waiting this Christmas

Life is Advent; life is recognizing the coming of the Lord, says Henri Nouwen. I read this a few weeks ago in one of my morning reflections that have been guided by a great book, Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri Nouwen. Said differently, life is waiting; life is hoping; life is lived in eager expectation of promises to be fulfilled and dreams to come to fruition. So as Christmas draws nearer this week, I thought I would list prayers related to some of the many longings that dwell in the hearts, minds, and souls of our family, friends, and neighbors…feel free to add your own. Even more, may we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear the ways in which we are called to recognize the coming of the Lord, or maybe incarnate such Advent as we extend compassion, concern, and generosity to those near and far…and not just at Christmas.

Advent Prayers:
• A warm place to rest and sleep.
• A meal.
• A job.
• 2011 budgets for non-profits and self-supporting ministries be experience enough, even more than enough (see post on Broad Street Ministry)
• Strained relationships to be mended
• Conversations around the table to be less about our differences and disagreements and more about what we hold in common…
• Comfort to those for whom the baby Jesus is a reminder, not of hope and joy, but of their constant battle through infertility
• Peace to those who grieve the loss of loved ones in the distant past or the year that draws to a close
• Reconciliation for nations torn internally and/or with their neighbors by war and violence (Israel-Palestine; Sudan; North and South Korea; Vietnam…etc.)
• Peace in our cities, especially Philadelphia, Chester, Coatesville…
• Students who look for relief from unnecessary pressures and anxieties that results from oppressive cultural myths of achievement and competition
• Expecting and new parents
• Strength to those who are persecuted for their commitment to the Way of Jesus, especially in nations where freedom of religion is not something taken for granted…
• For those who grow our crops and make our clothing to be paid a fair wage and for the ability to speak to and rally against those who prevent such from happening
• Those who are judged and condemned do to difference to find welcome and community in churches who have been willing to risk everything to live into the Way of Jesus
• For affordable (or free) healthcare to be provided to ALL…
• Love to those students whose parents have either split up or are working through divorce
• Ways out for those in abusive relationships…
• The ability for nations like Haiti and regions like New Orleans continually to work towards restoration in the wake of natural disasters
• Cures for diseases like AIDS and cancer and advocacy for victims of both…
• Improved education in our cities and developing nations

Add your own...