Prayers of the People: Advent 1

Here’s a prayer of intercession for Advent written by Moira Laidlaw. It’s based on the suggested scripture passages for that day:  Psalm 80: 1-7, 17-19, 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9; Mark 13: 24-27. 

Moira suggests framing the prayer with stanzas from the traditional hymn, “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed.”  

Prayers of Thanksgiving & Intercession

(Stanza 1)
Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captives free,
to take away transgressions, and rule in equity.

We have been enriched, O God, in every way through the love which was so beautifully and clearly revealed by Jesus.  We give thanks to you for initiating this act of love by entering our human history in the way we all enter it—as a baby born of woman's flesh. We draw our breath in wonder at such a normal yet such a surprising act.

As we wait once more for this wonder-full event to take place, help us never to lose that sense of wonder and mystery which accompanies birth.  We pray for those who have lost any sense of wonder because of the stress of just living from day to day:  those who are worn out from the effort of making ends meet— from feeding and clothing and keeping alive themselves and their families.   (silent reflection)

We pray for families where relationships have broken down and where children feel unloved and unwelcome; where family members are forced out of their homes because of violence and abuse.    (silent reflection) 

We pray for all people who are made to feel unwelcome because of their race; their colour; their religion.   We pray for attitudes which truly reflect Jesus' commandment to love one another.   (silent reflection)

We pray for people for whom this Advent season points to a heightened sense of failure rather than any promise of fulfilment; for people who identify this season with lost dreams; for people who know only loneliness and recycled memories....   (silent reflection)

(Stanzas 2 & 3 sung softly, while seated.)
He comes with justice surely to those who suffer wrong,
to help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong,
to give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
whose souls, condemned and dying, are precious in his sight.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth.
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in his path to birth.
Before him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald go,
and righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.
Prayers for local, national and international situations and events….
(Stand and sing stanzas 4 & 5)
Kings shall fall down before him, and gold and incense bring;
all nations shall adore him, his praise all people sing.
To him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend,
his kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end.

O’er every foe victorious, he on his throne shall rest,
from age to age more glorious, all-blessing and all-blest.
The tide of time shall never his covenant remove.
His name shall stand forever: that name to us is Love.

— Copyright © Moira Laidlaw, posted on her Liturgies Online website. Visit that site for other great lectionary-based resources. 

For more worship resources for the first Sunday of Advent Year B, click on Advent I Year B in the list of “Labels” at the lower right side of the page, or visit this index of Advent Worship Resources.