I had the opportunity to lead worship in our Traditional Venue this last weekend. We began our four week Advent series – Not a Silent Night and looked at the latter years of Mary’s life. Below is the transition and the prayer that I used.
Transition to Prayer
On this first Sunday of Advent, we begin our season of waiting and preparation. During this season we wait for the coming of Christ into our lives and into the world. As we wait we are called to prepare, to get rid of the clutter that takes up space in our souls, and to make room for this child who is to come.
Today as we talk about the latter years of the life of this child’s mother, we are filled with the hope of what his life might mean for us. We are filled with the hope and the expectation of something new that was born 2,000 years ago and that we pray might be born anew in us.
It is with this hope that we go to God in prayer.
<Pause for Centering>
Most gracious God, we give you thanks today for Mary and for the life that she lived. We are grateful for her patience and her strength, for her wisdom and her hope. We are grateful for the gifts of love and nurture that she showed to Jesus throughout his life and we trust that a mother’s love was instrumental in shaping and forming him, as it has been for us all.
God of all creation, we trust that your vision and your reach are far beyond anything we can comprehend. We have experienced your love and marveled at the majesty of your creation in the magnitude of the heavens. And at the same time we have experienced your love and marveled at the majesty of your creation in the tiny hands of newborns. From the highest heavens to the very creation of new life we have great hope for your work in our lives and in the world.
Yet, in the midst of our hope, we confess that often we live in short-sided ways. We often doubt our own abilities and we often doubt you. Forgive us God, for our short-sidedness and renew in us a sense of hope. Specifically God, we lift up to you in silence these prayers of hope for our world…
<Pray in Silence>
We are grateful God, for your love that surrounds us and gives us every reason to hope. And we pray that in these coming weeks, we might continue to experience you in worship as we better come to know your son who taught all of his disciples to pray…
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.