Share |

A Prayer for Advent

Several years ago, I wrote a prayer for Thornapple Covenant Church to use during Advent. It is based on the meditation exercise called “palms down, palms up” in Richard Foster’s classic book Celebration of Discipline.

In this meditation exercise, Foster encourages the Christian to pray with palms down in a prayer of relinquishment and surrender. (It helps me to hold my hands in the air, rather than on my lap, imagining that God’s hands rest under my own.) Then, turn palms up to demonstrate your desire to receive.

Consider using this prayer, or write your own, during this Advent for personal or small-group devotions, or in your congregation.

 

Please join me in your hearts, with your palms down, symbolizing release to God.

God, some of us may be distracted by busyness, anxiety, frustration, and hurt. This is not a distraction we like, but it is one we have become used to. We surrender our hurt feelings, our panicked selves, and our anxious minds to you.

[SILENCE]

Creator God, it is cold, and some of our hearts may feel like frozen soil. We are afraid we will miss the warmth of your grace. God, we yield the earth of our hearts to you.

[SILENCE]

This season, Jesus, when we open our eyes, we see things we want or things that may cause us to feel insufficient, out-of-date, or unimportant. We relinquish these desires and inferiorities to you, Lord Christ.

[SILENCE]

Holy Spirit, our ears are filled with the drone of holiday music, constant chatter about material goods and expectations. We abandon this clatter to you.

[SILENCE]

Amen.

I invite you to sing in response.

[SING “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” vs. 1-2]

Please join me in your hearts, with your palms up, symbolizing your openness to receive from God.

God, what we want to taste is your word, like the prophet Ezekiel did, and for it to taste like honey. Fill us with desire for your Word. May it satisfy and delight us.

[SILENCE]

King Jesus, we invite you to open our eyes so that we may see you in your glory--the hidden glory of a poor baby wrapped in rags. The overwhelming glory of John’s vision--your face, bright as the sun. Turn our eyes to you, Jesus.

[SILENCE]

Jesus, we want to reach out and touch your garment. Heal us--our fragility, our sickness and our sin-sickness. Make us whole and holy.

[SILENCE]

Holy Spirit, open our ears to hear the gentle whisper of the voice of God.

[LONGEST SILENCE]

Amen.

I invite you to sing in response.

[SING “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” vs. 3-4]