Isaiah 45:5 – 8
I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things.
Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness;
let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth; let justice also spring up!

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.
God our Creator, open your heavens and rain down on us your righteousness. We pray especially for those persons who hunger and thirst for justice:
~ Show them your mercy, O God.
For those without safe shelter or adequate housing:
For immigrants and refugees and all displaced persons:
For migrant workers and their families:
For prisoners of conscience and those who are falsely accused:
For those awaiting trial and for their judges, advocates and juries:
For legislators, economists, relief workers, and all who work for a more just world order:
For all Sisters of Mercy as they strive to witness to your mercy and justice:
Lord of heaven and earth, your knowledge surpasses all understanding, your goodness exceeds all measure. With arms outstretched we call on your name: you are our God, there is no other. Help us reflect your mercy to a world in need. We make this Prayer with confidence in your ever-abiding love for us. Amen.

James 5:7 – 11
Be patient, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
With patience we await your coming, O Lord.
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.

John came as a messenger, heralding the coming of Christ, and so we pray:
~ Help us to be messengers of the Good News to all the world!
That we may recognize our responsibility to those whose lives we touch, we pray:
That our preparation for Christmas may radiate peace and Prayer to a world filled with unrest and distraction, we pray:
That we may remember, especially during this holy season, those who are poor, sick, and uneducated, we pray:
That our homes and institutions may model the respect due to our mother earth, we pray:
That those who die this night may meet their God with joy, we pray:
Blessed are you, O God, compassionate and merciful in all your ways. Teach us patience and make our hearts strong. May we be ready when you come to us in word or sacrament or in the need of our neighbor. We make this Prayer in the spirit of the prophets of old: Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.