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Christian worship, sermons, prayer and Bible study from
St. Mark's Church and Putnoe Heights Church, Bedford, England - The world is our parish

Prayers for fourth Sunday of Advent

8th December 2005

Cradled in a manger meanly laid the Son of Man his head,
Sleeping his first earthly slumber where the oxen had been fed.
Happy were those shepherds listening to the holy angels word,
Happy they within that stable, worshipping their infant Lord

We worship you now, Lord, as we come before you in prayer.

Lord God, prayer is a mystery. We do not understand how it works or how our feeble petitions reach heaven.
However, we do know that Jesus prayed, and taught his disciples how to pray, and that he opened the way into your presence.
Help us to follow his example and teaching, and learn to pray more naturally, more readily and more often, and always in his name.

Dear Lord, in whom all things live, who commands us to seek you, and are ever ready to be found: to know you is life, to serve you is freedom, to praise you is our souls delight. We bless you and adore you, we worship you and magnify your name, and we give thanks to you for your great glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

When at last the troubles in Iraq may slowly be coming to a peaceful conclusion, but troubles elsewhere continue unabated, we pray for goodwill between nations, and peace.

Dear Lord, we pray that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move the hearts of men and among the nations of the world that the barriers of fear, suspicion and hatred which separate us may crumble, and the body of mankind, being healed of its divisions, may be united in the bonds of justice and peace, for the honour of your name.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

A prayer for social justice in our own land:

Holy Spirit of light and truth, help us to understand the causes of our social tensions and unrest. Open our eyes to economic wrongs and injustices; deepen our concern for ethnic minorities, the old, the poor, and the handicapped; and stir in us all a burning sense of responsibility for one another, as servants of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

At this time of year when we perhaps dwell more on material things, a prayer to encourage deeper thoughts:

Deliver us O lord from shallowness in our thinking and from following the superficial fashions of the world.
Save us from the worship of science and of earthly power and glory, that, acknowledging our human reason, as your precious gift, we may be freed from all false notions and misplaced trust, and put you first in our thinking, out God and our salvation.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

A prayer for family life, which at this time of year is particularly relevant as we worship at the stable with the family of Jesus:

God our Father, you have commanded us to love one another and to serve each others needs. Help us in our homes and in our lives to be helpful and considerate, forbearing and forgiving, so that the harmony of our family life and daily living may be strengthened and sustained. So may the blessing of your peace rest upon us all, for Jesus Christs sake.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

We bow before baby Jesus at Christmas-time. A prayer now for the children of the world:

Dear God, whose heart is as the heart of a child, hear our prayer for the children of the world, that they may grow in all that is honest, true and good. Bless the disadvantaged, comfort the unloved, protect the neglected, give grace to the handicapped; and to all who care for children and nurture them, give patience, love and faith, for Jesus sake.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

Jesus in adulthood healed and comforted the sick, so we pray for the sick and suffering:

O God, the source of life and health, we pray for those who are ill, especially those known to us, and we bring them to mind Give doctors and nurses the skills to make them well again, and grant that, during their illness, they may learn more of your love, care and healing power may flow though their eyes, their lips and their hands, bringing health, new life, comfort and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord in your mercy
Hear our prayer

We remember before God those who have died, and light a candle to symbolise the light of Christ which eternally shines and brings hope. We remember

You turn our darkness into light: in your light shall we see light.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

And to those who never listened to the message of thy birth,
Who have winter but no Christmas bringing them they peace on earth,
Send to these the joyful tidings by all people, in each home.
Be their heard [sic] the Christmas anthem: Praise to God, the Christ has come.

And as Jesus taught his disciples, so we say, Our Father