For Gaudete (Joy) Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent:
God of light, break into our darkness. You see us all, and you’ve heard everything we’ve been praying here today – make us aware of your presence and your work.
Today we’re praying for the people of this church – for their healing, for peace for their lives, for comfort in mourning, for hope when there seems to be no hope. Bless these people with your light, God.
On this particular Sunday, God, we ask for joy to be shared in the lives of others. Hear the names of these people we speak, whisper, or lift up silently in our hearts, and grant them joy.
We also pray for people around the world. Our heartstrings are tugged more frequently than usual this time of year, God – but the problems of our country and our world can seem overwhelming. God, encourage us to be makers of peace, sharers of love, and bringers of joy. God, bless the world with peace, love, and joy – and make us a part of your work, no matter how small.
God, we trust in your goodness, made apparent to us in the birth of Jesus, confirmed through his life, his teachings, his death and his resurrection. Christ, we thank you for saving us from ourselves and providing us hope that goes beyond death itself. As we seek to follow you, we offer up to you the prayer you taught us, saying…