Pastoral Prayer for Advent
(Transition from Thanksgiving)
By Ed Vasicek
Lord of the Harvest,
We have just finished celebrating Thanksgiving, praising You for the harvest of crops and the harvest of souls. We now transition our thoughts in preparation for the Christmas season. We eagerly await the Blessed Hope of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, when He will appear in the clouds, and we will receive our immortal bodies. We ponder His reign on the earth as well. But for now, Father, our turn our attention to the First Coming of our Lord Jesus.
He came in the fullness of time. During a time of darkness, He brought light. You providentially prepared the way for the spread of the good news of His coming, His atonement on the cross, His burial, resurrection, and ascension. The good news that all who turn from their sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are given the greatest gift of all: a right relationship with God, eternal life in heaven, and the forgiveness of sin.
The prophet Isaiah said the promised Messiah would be born of virgin, and that He would be called, “Emmanuel,” which means, “God with us.” And that He is. He is God with us, God the Son incarnate in human flesh.
The hymn writer penned, “Veiled in flesh the godhead see; hail the incarnate deity.” And we do hail, we do welcome the incarnate deity, the God-man Jesus Christ.
Holidays or no, life goes on. For some, the cycle of holidays this year is painful. Some of us have lost a family member, someone near and dear to us. Whether by death, relocation, or relational conflict, some of us feel an empty place in our hearts. We thank You, Lord, that You give such individuals room to grieve. Help the rest of us do so as well. Give them the strength to celebrate the holidays as best they can, while, at the same time, reminding them that their tears are precious to you. As David wrote in Psalm 56:8, “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
We thank You that because of Jesus first coming, we will experience no more sorrow or pain when He completes the plan of God after His Second Coming. Christmas joy transforms life and helps us re-frame it all from Your perspective. We rejoice as we ponder the One who delivered us from the Kingdom of Darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of Light.
Father, we have many requests from our church family to bring before You, including:
We also have some personal requests we bring before You silently.
May Your Spirit strengthen us as we continue to set our minds on You, our great God.
We pray in Jesus’s Name, Amen.