Most able God,
who lifts the desperate from the depths
and makes fruitful what once was barren,
nothing is impossible with you.
For the times we make demands of you, we ask your forgiveness:
when we ask for more knowledge about the hows and whys than we really need,
when we bargain to bend your will to ours,
when we secretly hope that you will bring down others as you raise us up.
Help us to love and live genuinely,
hating what is evil while praying for our enemies,
extending hospitality to friends and especially to strangers,
rejoicing in you always,
and serving you with zeal.
For those who need your mercy most in this season, we offer our petitions:
those who identify best with the absence of light and presence of danger in Advent,
those who can hardly bear any more reminders to wait,
those who are reminded about pregnancy or relationship difficulties by the texts we read,
those who cannot hear words of hope because of the starkness of their situations,
those who continue to hope for a mighty king rather than a baby in a manger,
those who are unable to shift focus from the consumer message to the spiritual one,
those who feel unworthy of the grace extended to us all by your great gift.
May they – we – all be able to name what you have done for us by looking favorably upon us.
And may we be compassionate and helpful, doing all we can for our brothers and sisters in this one human family.
These things we pray blessing your name this time on and forevermore. Amen.