Praying Patiently with Zechariah
Great God of unexpected endings, there are times when we find ourselves left speechless in wonder at the mystery of your presence. We pray today for and with all who wish to offer prayers of grateful thanksgiving but do not know how or to whom they should pray.
We lift up our hearts with expectant mothers and proud new fathers, and we rejoice with those who see in the miracle of new life the hope of the future of the world.
We proclaim in your name the innate equality of each child born, whatever their gender, nationality, ethnicity, social standing, or sexuality. And we commit ourselves to seeing the image of God reflected in all, as we offer prayers of wonder at the miracle of life.
Great God of unexpected endings, there are times when we find ourselves left speechless in anticipation at the hope of your coming. We pray today for and with all those who are desperately longing for a different future, but who do not know how or to whom they should pray.
We offer our voices in solidarity with the refugees and would-be asylum seekers who are stranded at the border posts of Europe, a new future before them but trapped in the silence of waiting for the new world to come to them and their families. We pray especially for those in the Jungle in Calais, and we pray for those who are working to alleviate suffering and hasten a humane solution to the crisis.
We proclaim in your name the innate equality of each human being who has been created in your image, and we commit ourselves to the radical gospel vision of peace and reconciliation between peoples.
Great God of unexpected endings, there are times when we find ourselves left speechless in powerlessness at the futility of our lives and actions. We acknowledge before you that even after all our efforts the world is still not as the world should be, and in the quiet darkness of our hearts we confess the fear that all our strivings have simply made things worse.
We are powerless to prevent war, we are powerless to stop our friends and loved ones from becoming ill and dying, we are powerless in the face of systems and institutions of great power that control far more than they have any right to.
And in the midst of the silencing of powerlessness, we still our hearts from panic and we pray to hear the cry of a baby cutting through the babble of the world as Christ comes to us, your words made flesh, salvation spoken in time and space..
Great God of unexpected endings, come once again to this wondering, anticipating, and powerless world. Come to us in our silence. Come, Lord Jesus. Come, O come, Immanuel. Amen.