An Advent Prayer of Love (Psalm 85; John 15:11-17; 1 John 4:7-18; Ephesians 3:16-21)

As we reflect on God’s love this Advent, let us pray that God will show his love anew to us. And let us commit ourselves to loving others as Jesus commands.

Dear Heavenly Father,
You are the God of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. We rejoice in your love.

Your love fills the earth. Thank you for caring for your creation, and for giving us the precious gift of life. Open our eyes to see your goodness around us and open our hearts to receive your love.

Your faithful love leads us into your presence, where truth embraces compassion, and righteousness kisses peace; where what happens on earth reflects your heavenly desires, and your smile rains down abundant blessings on us. This is where we long to live, Lord, with you forever. In the chaos that surrounds us this season, quiet our hearts and quicken our awareness that you are with us.

We praise you, Lord, for loving us and calling us your children. Thank you for demonstrating your great love to us by sending Jesus to make his home among us. As we ready gifts for others, fill us with gratitude for the gift of eternal life made possible through Jesus Christ our Lord. Whenever we feel far from you, convince us again that nothing can separate us from your love that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Remind us through the coming of Christ that your unfailing love and faithfulness breaks through the darkness to show us your glory.

God of love, we long to love you with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. But in our busyness we forget you, ignore you or fail you. Forgive us, and change our hearts, so that we will love you with all we are, all we have, and all we do.

You, Lord, are slow to anger and full of patience and kindness. But especially in this season, we are often quick to lose our patience and slow to recognize our own rudeness. How we long to love others as you love us, and yet how often we fail. Remember us in light of your unfailing love, God of mercy, and please pardon our failings.

We cling tightly to you, Lord, and we commit ourselves again to walking in your ways. By your Spirit, help us to express our faith in love and good deeds. Enable us to demonstrate your love for justice and to remember those in need. Equip us to provide for the strangers in our midst and empower us to do what is good even to those who do not love us. For you, Lord are kind to those who are ungrateful, and you never give up on us.

Strengthen our church in your love, and knit us together with strong ties of love. Fill us with genuine affection for one another and grant us pleasure in honouring one another. Overflow your love in us so much that others will see that we follow Jesus.

We acknowledge, Lord, that love comes from you, for as the Scriptures say, “God is love”. You are Love, God. And we love because you first loved us. Please grow our awareness and understanding of your love this Christmas season.  And whenever we lack love, remind us to turn to you, the Source of Love, and ask for what we need.

We ask that from your glorious, unlimited resources of love, that you will empower us with the strength to love through your Spirit. We pray that Christ will make his home in our hearts as we trust in him. May our roots grow down deep into the soil of your marvellous love and keep us strong. And give us the power to understand how wide, how long, how high and how deep your love is. May we experience the love of Jesus, though it is too great for us to understand fully. Make us complete with all the life and power and joy that comes from you, God of Love.

We praise and glorify you, God, for through your mighty power at work within us, you are able to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or even imagine. May you be given glory in our church in Christ Jesus forever, Amen.

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