We open our hearts to you, God of compassion, God of power,
Because we know we need your creative power and precision of language when we speak, we need to learn the voice of clarity, to see with vision, to hear with discretion and act with generosity.
In this season of hyper-charged commercialism, ever attempting to smother the celebration of the birth of the Christ child with mountains of trinkets and toys, we pray for discernment. May we spend our time building up our friendships and a larger sense of community. May we spend our money in ways that enlarge the lives of those around us and benefit those who receive funds through charities.
You give us prophets. Help us resist the temptation to convert them to profits.
You have given us your Son; we pray you teach us to follow Him.
As children we learned to sing, “O be careful, little eyes, what you see,” as a reminder that where our attention goes, our efforts follow. When we see the climate shocks affecting Africa today and all over this world, we pray you guide our eyes to look at the evidence of scientists and fieldworkers to spare extinctions and destructive events. As polar bears starve due to lack of sea ice habitat in the Arctic circumpolar world, show us what we must do to keep your beautiful earth safe for all life.
There is another verse warning, “O be careful, little ears, what you hear.” We need to shut off the noise, the corrosive example of politicians who demean themselves and each other with name-calling. If our radios and televisions are mainly inflaming us, give us the wisdom and strength to turn down these devices. If our meetings are frustrating us give us the wisdom to listen and take right action. If our conversations are filled with cynicism and complaint, help us to find better topics. When we are tempted to repeat criticisms of others, be they neighbors or elected officials or respected leaders, give us pause to reflect on whether we are doing your will.
Most of all we pray as in the children’s verse that you guide our “feet” to humble stables, where homes and shelters are nourishing children’s hopes. Inspire us to find our way living out Christ’s examples of kindness and compassion.
We pray that we become part of the prospering of institutions such as Berea College U.S.A. with more than a century of success in providing excellent education to students who have everything they need to benefit from excellent education except money.
We pray that we form the support that is needed by Greta Thunberg of Sweden and youth around this globe as they confront climate change.
We pray for strength as we hear that Jewish graves in the Alsace region of France are desecrated. Strengthen us to be part of the resistance and investigation of hate crimes.
This world is a wonderful place. We thank you for it and for our own opportunities therein. Bless us as we take up what it is we are to do. Show us our work in this. Correct us when we need it. Lift us up when we grow weak. Help us to spread the joy of an abundant life in all times.
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