The Second Sunday of Advent.
Father God, as we wait patiently through this season of Advent for Your Son, Jesus Christ, to enter the world again, we pray to You in thanks and praise, entreaty and petition for Your World, Your Church and for Ourselves.
On this Second Sunday of Advent, we thank you Father for your gift of grace to us, in which we enjoy prosperity and comfort to buy the gifts our own children and grandchildren will soon enjoy. We pray for all those for whom Christmas is not a holiday but just another day in their struggle for survival.
You sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to be born amongst the poor, in a country under foreign occupation; we pray for all who live under similar conditions. We remember the dispossessed and the lonely, those in slavery and the hungry, those for whom the freedom and justice that we take for granted seem like a distant dream.
We see and hear in the news reports of places where there is conflict in Your world, places including Syria, Ukraine and the Levant region of the Middle East. Let us not forget places where the stories are ‘too small’ to be a news report yet people are still injured and killed in fighting, or starving from lack of food.
In a year when we commemorate the start of World War One, that killed over 16 million people, let us also remember and pray for those killed or injured at Pearl Harbour when it was attacked today (7th December) in 1941, knowing that some people alive now had their lives changed forever by that event.
Father above, you reminded us that in war there is hope when in 1914 soldiers on both sides held an unofficial ceasefire at Christmas time, some even playing football or exchanging small gifts. We pray that You will give that seed of hope to those fighting today and that seed might be nurtured to grow, flowering in peace and unity. Show us again the way to peace, Father of mercy.
Comfort, Lord, people torn from their homes and loved ones by war, injustice and the cruelty of their fellow humans; grant that we who live securely may be generous and caring to our displaced brothers and sisters.
We pray for the places where disease affects people and families, especially at this time for the people of West Africa, suffering greatly with the Ebola crisis.
God of mercy, be with those who suffer from the Ebola disease; comfort them in their illness and give them strength in their struggle to survive. Support the medical staff and troops as they treat the afflicted and try contain the spread. In the midst of the epidemic we give thanks for the bravery of each helper, weather volunteer aid worker or servicemen and women who put their own health and life at risk to make others safer.
We remember too, before you father those who, on return from their efforts to help in West Africa, are treated like outcasts because their home community is afraid that the virus might have been brought back with them.
Living God of light and life, send your blessing on all the sick and those who care for them.
Heavenly Father, hear us as we place before you in prayer those friends and family we know personally, who need the warmth of your healing touch or comfort for their loss and in the hustle and bustle of preparation for Christmas, and the coming of Your Son again, still our hearts and mind as in a few moments of quiet in your house we set before you in the silence of our own hearts our own individual cares and concerns.
Father in heaven, the day draws near when the light of Your Son will shine anew over a waiting world. Let His radiance shine like a sun that never sets, drawing all to the his beacon of hope for all the world.
accept this prayers for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour,