Second Saturday in Advent
And wherever he went he healed people of every sort of illness.
And what pity he felt for the crowds that came,
because their problems were so great
and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help.
They were like sheep without a shepherd."
Praying for the Shepherdless
People of God, as we come to prayer…….
let us remember that we do not
have to twist the arm of a reluctant God
to seek good things for this world,
nor find ways to persuade a distant God
to come near and listen to us.
Let us remember that as we pray
we kneel alongside Jesus Christ,
in the presence of God,
with the help of the Spirit.
So let us bring to mind now……
those people who are in need of our prayers: those who are ill, or anxious;
those who are lonely or sad;
those who are despairing or defeated;
those who are hungry or homeless;
those whose relationships are breaking apart;those bullied or abused;
those who cannot find work;
and those who are over-worked.
In silence now, let us make our own specific prayers for those on our hearts and minds today.
In the presence of God, alongside Jesus Christ,
with help from the Spirit,
may we go into this week
to live out our prayers
through our lives. Amen.
~ Ann Siddall
When was it that we saw you sick, Lord? Was it when the headlines changed from being about those who are sick to being about those who are singing?
So help us Lord, to see you, beyond fairy lights and early tinsel beyond well-intentioned Christmas singles beyond the headlines and their silence and in seeing you, to not look away but to truly take care of you. So help us, God. Amen. Christian Aid
The commercial Christmas, Lord – it’s a bit much.
It’s hard to find You in these milling crowds.
But wait a minute!
You fed crowds with bread and fishes;
You talked to crowds of the Father’s love.
Lord, help me to speak a blessing
on all the shovers and pushers today –
even when they tread on my toes.
The crib … The figures are in place, Lord –
the baby in his terracotta feeding trough,
the adoring mother,
the watchful husband,
the kneeling shepherds.
And the kings have started their long journey to You
via the bedroom window sill, the bathroom shelf and the bookcases –
a perilous trek!
Assist me, Lord, in all the dangers of my pilgrim way –
through the turmoil of daily living,
bring me to the stillness of the stable,
and the baby of Bethlehem.
Christ on our doorstep
Lord Jesus Christ,
you stand at the door and knock,
but we open the door,
cautiously and reluctantly,
afraid you might come right in,
making difficult demands,
as you do of those
who have many gifts:
demands of accessibility,
time and hospitality;
as you come
in the elderly,
people different from ourselves ..
Our material concerns and anxieties
hide the richer gifts you have given
for service to the community
and fellowship within our body.
‘Happy are the poor,
happy are the hungry …’
Only emptiness compels and enables us
to begin to receive you
through those who know their need
Intimate and loving God,
we yearn for your coming
and the warmth of your embrace;
focus our hearts on the truly important
and keep us centred on Jesus, our Shepherd-Emmanuel,
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, now and for ever. Amen. Janet Morley (adapted)