An Advent Prayer for Peace
by the Rev. Magrey deVega
O God, you made us in your image to be in relationship with you and others, yet we acknowledge the frailty of those relationships. We are imperfect. We have not always been kind. At times we have been more prone to anger and bitterness, than love and forgiveness. We are an imperfect reflection of your perfect love. We know you hear us as we pray for peace. That you might fill us with peace, and use these prayers to create peace in the world.
We pray for peace for every marriage. We pray for homes filled with chronic miscommunication, endless disputes and unfulfilled expectations. Offer new ways to see and hear, with empathy and new understanding. Bring light to each person’s faults and lead them to confession and repentance. Rekindle an awakening to boundless, unconditional love.
For peace in every marriage, Lord in your mercy, you hear our prayer.
We pray for peace in the relationship between parent and child. For young families, in a constant state of adjustment and transition. Grant them endurance and creativity. For parents and children who are struggling with miscommunication, or shared expectations, or wounded by past scars and ongoing resentment, grant them new insight and the power of reconciliation. For families in transition, with grown children charting their own paths and discovering their own freedoms, bring them together across their distances, through joy and laughter and love.
For peace in every relationship between parent and child, Lord in your mercy, you hear our prayer.
We pray for peace for the dysfunction that is in every family. For families dealing with the haunting influences of addiction, or the long shadow of mental illness, grant a new spirit of courage and compassion, a boldness of truth, and generosity of love. For families that are marked by deep fault lines of past hurts and misunderstandings, pour out your spirit of confession and forgiveness.
For peace in all our families, Lord in your mercy, you hear our prayer.
We pray for peace for couples who are struggling with infertility, especially during a season marked by the birth of a holy child. Comfort them, weep with them, and grant them hope and fulfillment in surprising and creative ways. For those who face this season alone – widows and widowers, single adults and divorced, the elderly and homebound – help them discover their completeness, their uniqueness and their joy.
For peace in the midst of loneliness, Lord in your mercy, you hear our prayer.
We pray for peace for those who are grieving. For those who remember loved ones who have died, whose grief skews this season of peace into a time of sorrow, comfort them with your presence, and remind them that in you, the bonds of love will never end. And for those facing their own mortality, living in the shadow of their own death and disease, help them to embrace eternal life now. To live with an embrace of each moment and the gift of each breath, and the courage to receive both joy and the pain, sickness and health. May your love be made real in our care for others.
For peace in the face of grief and fear, Lord in your mercy, you hear our prayer.
O God, you are Immanuel. You are the presence among us in every moment. Through these prayers, open us up to that presence, fill the broken and empty parts of our lives, that in your grace, life might begin to fit together again. And use these prayers to create peace, in a way that only your transforming love can do.
May this season of Advent truly be one of preparation, that our hearts, minds and souls may be awakened to peace.
In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.