“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1 : 5
Last year many of us experienced a Christmas when so many of the ways we traditionally mark the season were suddenly denied to us. This year of course we hope and pray that many of the familiar experiences that help Christmas come alive return to our homes, our churches and communities.
Dear God, we give thanks for this time when we can all be together. We give thanks for this joyful holiday when we can celebrate our Saviour and his love for us. With joy we pray.
Advent is here and hope is in the air. We celebrate not only for thanking God for Christ’s first coming to earth as a baby, but also for his presence amongst us today through the Holy Spirit, and in preparation and anticipation of his final coming at the end of time.
“Light in the Darkness” is the Church ofScotland’s theme for advent. Meaning “coming” or arrival, Advent is a time of prayer and preparation for the coming of God’s Son. It is also a time when we look outwards to the needs of others, spreading joy with friends, families, local communities and further afield.
The Christmas season for many is a time for family, friends, memories, beauty and warmth but for others it can be a time of struggle.
Lord we pray for all who are finding life difficult.
. the lonely, anxious, afraid and vulnerable. Be their protector and close companion.
. the hungry and homeless. Be their provider.
. Comfort the bereaved and grieving with your love and peace.
. The many people who are still experiencing anxiety, the pain of loss, illness or uncertainty due to the pandemic.
. For those who the holiday stirs up difficult memories.
May your Spirit bless them with your love,peace and grace giving them strength for the day and hope for tomorrow
We give you thanks for the work of the Salvation Army, Bethany and the city’s food banks helping people without discrimination and standing up for those who are vulnerable, fighting against injustice and encouraging them to experience life in all its fullness.
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 119 : 105
. Pray for our troubled world as the pandemic continues to spread and effect so many. An uncertain future for many.
. War torn communities and families displaced. Nowhere to call home. Be with them.
. Those facing persecution, torture and prison.
. The poor and the sick.
. all those who need strength and courage in the days ahead.
. Pray for the Church of Scotland and its leaders as we go forward in these challenging times. Holy Spirit guide them with your vision, wisdom and a new sense of mission as they plan for the future, glorifying God and drawing people to the love and hope of Jesus.
. We ask for your blessing on our Christmas services and ask that you be with Jim and Heather. Fill them with new strength and energy at this busy time as they spread the love of God and bring real and lasting hope.
Thank you for being “Immanuel”God with us.
Let us be Light, Jesus, help us to be beacons of hope, patience,
good deeds, peace and justice.
Be our guide and grant us what we need to keep our light shining,
to shed light on the road that leads others to you.
We pray for joy in our hearts and hope in our God.
Love to forgive and peace upon the earth.
Holy Spirit fill our hearts with your love and your power.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.