Dear Heavenly Father,
On this fourth Sunday of Advent we thank you for the reminders all around us of your great love for us. We thank you that even during these shortened days and long, cold nights, your word assures us that you are at work. Even as we wait for the Babe of Bethlehem, we are reminded that we also await your triumphal return.
We pray for the poor and the hungry and remember that you are the Bread of Life.
We pray for those living in the darkness of oppression and remember you are the Light of the World.
We pray for those battling physical and emotional illness and remember that you are the Good Shepherd.
We pray for those who are weary and heavy laden and remember that you are our very present help in times of trouble.
We pray for the lost and remember that you are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
We pray for the brokenhearted and lonely and remember you are our Wonderful Counselor.
We pray for an end to violence and discord, hatred and malice and remember that you are the Prince of Peace.
Forgive us, Lord, for being so busy that we forget that you hold the whole world in your hands.
For being so fearful that we forget that you are in control.
For being so consumed with the world and its views, that we forget to spend time in your Word to learn your views.
For being so concerned about the opinions of others that we forget to Seek first your Kingdom and your Righteousness.
We lift up our church, the Spartanburg community, our state and our nation. Thank you for the gifts and abilities you have graciously bestowed on us and help us to share them with those in need.
We lift up all nations to you, and ask that you draw all people to yourself and that you empower our leaders to make merciful and just decisions for the good of their citizens as well as their neighbors.
We pray for our enemies, and ask that you would forgive them, for they know not what they do.
We live in a time of deep division along political, racial, moral and economic lines.
Help us, Lord, to find our common ground in you.
Help us to seek your wisdom daily in the pages of scripture.
Help us remember that while we were still sinners, you came to this earth, in the form of an innocent newborn baby, holy and precious, to live among us, teach us how to love one another, and to die on the cross for us.
Help us rend our hearts and not our garments. Help us to forgive as you forgave us.
Help us to love you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.
Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves.
And help us to be found faithful when You return. While we are waiting, come.
We pray all of this in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Mrs. Carter W. Smith, Elder