Three Prayers for the Fourth Sunday of Advent

O Lord God, heavenly Father, we beseech thee so to rule and guide us by thy Holy Spirit that we may hear and receive thy holy Word with our whole heart; that through thy Word we may be sanctified, and may learn to place all our trust and hope in Jesus Christ thy Son, and following him may be led safely through all evil, until through thy grace we come to everlasting life; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

from The Book of Worship for Church and Home of The Methodist Church, 1965

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says, “He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head.” For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the Son of man, so that human beings might in their turn become children and heirs of God? Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace. Augustine.

from the Ancient Christian Devotional

Lord Jesus, my Redeemer and King, as we celebrate the glorious advent of Thy coming into the world, I, Thy humble servant, open wide my heart to Thee. Cleanse and purify it from all sin and evil desire. So rule my life that I may yield the members of my body instruments of righteousness to Thee, my Lord. Give to the pastor of our congregation the necessary faithfulness, and grant success to all his endeavors. Fill the hearts of all the members with brotherly love toward one another and fervent zeal for the spreading of Thy Kingdom of Grace. Guard and protect Thy disciples against all error and falsehood, and heal all divisions and put to naught all heresies. Let Thy Church ever be a shining light to all the world. Deliver all whom Satan still holds in the bondage of unbelief and sin. And when Thou wilt appear in power and majesty at the end of time, grant that Thy glorious advent be to me a day of rejoicing and I lift up my head with gladness because my redemption draweth nigh. Amen.

from the Lutheran Book of Prayer, 1951

32 Days Until Christmas

Believe or not (and it truly is hard to believe) but Advent begins this Sunday. We’ve got a great service planned this Sunday at Southside. If you grew up in a non-liturgical church and wonder what Advent is all about or what all the symbols in the sanctuary mean, come this Sunday, worship with us, and learn all about this season of the church year we call Advent. It will great.

Here’s a prayer to help get us ready…

O God our Father, you have brought us again to the glad season when we celebrate the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Grant that his Spirit may be born anew in our hearts this day and that we may joyfully welcome him to reign over us. Open our ears that we may hear again the angelic chorus of old. Open our lips that we, too, may sing with uplifted hearts. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward all; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from The United Methodist Book of Worship

Grace and Truth,

Prayer for this Fourth Sunday of Advent

Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

(from The Book of Worship for Church and Home of The Methodist Church, 1965)