I did the Advent prayer for my church this past Sunday for Advent 4 (Peace). I thought I would share it with you.
This 4th Sunday of Advent we light the candle of peace,
But inside our hearts ache.
They ache for Aleppo
They ache for Yemen
They ache for the deep divisions in our country
They ache for our neighbors and our families.
At times, we don’t feel peace within our hearts,
With the pressures of our world crashing up against us
peace seems to be an allusion.
Lord, hear our lament, hear our confession, and hear our prayers.
We are reminded by Jeremiah that your peace is established by justice,
And that your justice came in the form of a poor baby in the Middle East
Who turned the world right side up*
And gave us a new vision of peace.
As we wait in advent, longing when this peace will fully be realized,
Let us recognize the Spirit you gave us
To continue your work of peace today.
And remind us
That our hearts are not at peace, until found in you, o God**
*I first heard this phrase is attributed to my preaching professor. Dr. Mike Graves, at St. Paul School of Theology.
**This is an allusion to Augustine’s Confessions, where he says “Our hearts cannot rest until found in you, O Lord.”