December 18


Romans 13:11 – 14
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; living honorably as in the day. Let us put on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.

Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who shepherds the people
and sets them free.
God raises from David’s house
a child with power to save. --
--Through the holy prophets
God promised in ages past
to save us from enemy hands,
from the grip of all who hate us.
The Lord favored our ancestors
recalling the sacred covenant,
the pledge to our ancestor Abraham,
to free us from our enemies,
so we might worship without fear
and be holy and just all our days.
And you child, will be called
Prophet of the Most High,
for you will come to prepare
a pathway for the Lord
by teaching the people salvation
through forgiveness of their sin.
Out of God’s deepest mercy
a dawn will come from on high,
light for those shadowed by death,
a guide for our feet on the way to peace.
Seeking to prepare our lives for the coming of the Savior, we ask God to hear our needs and concerns, as we pray:
~ O God, hear our Prayer.
That church leaders may guide us to a deeper faith in your active power in our lives, we pray:
That those who are doubtful and hopeless may find peace and security in your promise of salvation, we pray:
That those who are entrusted with power in the world may strive to meet the basic needs of all peoples, we pray:
That world leaders may find a way to bring peace and justice to the region of Jesus’ birth, we pray:
That we may be attentive to the exhortations of the Advent readings and respond by active preparation for Christ’s coming, we pray:
O God, it is the hour for us to wake from the sleep of doubt and fear. Help us to greet this new day with eager longing for your message and with confident hope of your future coming. This we ask through the intercession of Jesus, our light and our guide. Amen.
Philippians 4:4 – 7
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by Prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
O Adonai, leader of ancient Israel, who revealed yourself to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the holy law on Mount Sinai, come, stretch out your hand and set us free.

I acclaim the greatness of the Lord,
I delight in God my savior,
who regarded my humble state.
Truly from this day on all ages
will call me blest.
For God, wonderful in power,
has used that strength for me.
Holy the name of the Lord!
Whose mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next.
The mighty arm of God
scatters the proud in their conceit,
Pulls tyrants from their thrones,
and raises up the humble.
The Lord fills the starving
and lets the rich go hungry.
God rescues lowly Israel,
recalling the promise of mercy,
the promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham’s heirs forever.

O Adonai, you have planted your law of freedom in our hearts. Yearning for the fullness of this gift, we pray:
~ O Adonai, stretch out your hand and set us free.
For those who live in darkness and the shadow of death, who anticipate your coming without hope or joy, we pray:
For all those in bondage: for political prisoners, for the incarcerated, for the detained and disappeared, we pray:
For those restrained by illness of mind or body, we pray:
For those inhibited by lack of educational opportunity, we pray:
For those who live in abusive regimes or abusive relationships, we pray:
You have called us to fullness of life, O God. Set us free, then, from all that prevents us from reaching our full stature as children of grace. Freedom is the law you have written in our hearts, and so we know that you will hear and answer our prayer. Amen.