Prayer of Advent Longing

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

Let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:19

 

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved

 

The Psalmist’s voice echoes through time

centuries of longing caught up and brought up

into your presence

 

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved

 

And that far off voice is also our voice

so we come

Some of us come with excitement and joy

Some of us come with exhaustion and fear

Some of us come surrounded by family

Some of us come feeling utterly alone

But all of us come from a world filled with darkness

into this place where we long to see some light

 

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved

 

For surely it is salvation that we need

Our stories are marked by our own weakness

Our lives marred with the scars of our own sin

And they bear the pain inflicted by others as well

 

For the world’s story bends under the weight of brokenness;

We hear the story of the fabric of family fraying in society

of relationships torn apart and homes broken

We hear the story of violence against the most vulnerable

the suffering of women, children, and those on the margins

We hear the story of creation groaning for restoration as well

a planet slowly suffering from humanity’s lack of care

We hear the story of war and the horrors that come with it

innocent lives lost and displaced in conflicted cities and refugee camps

 

We hear these stories and pray

Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;

let your face shine, that we may be saved

 

We hear these stories and choose to come

so that in this place, that we call the House of the Lord,

we might once again hear the old, old story of the coming of Christ

For in a world filled with darkness,

what came into being in him was light

that light was the life of all people

it shone in the darkness

and the darkness could not overcome it

 

And the light shines in the darkness still today

finding every crack and pressing it’s way into desperate places

So that brokenness is met with restoration

violence with sheltering care

suffering with healing

hatred with an unshakable sacrificial love

 

The same love that breaks every hard heart

and overcomes every obstacle

A love that will one day cause every knee to bend

and every tongue to confess

A love that we learned from this Christmas child

who would grow up to save the world

 

In this place we hear his story and pray

Thank you, O Lord God of hosts;

In Jesus your face shines, and we have been saved!

amen

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3 Comments

  1. Sue Traxler
    December 14, 2017
    Reply

    Wonderful! Helps me to focus on our Creator and Savior and remember that He is the reason for the season. Living in the world full of sin and sickness and wars necessitates the need for our Savior, Jesus Christ.

  2. Nate Kooistra
    December 19, 2017
    Reply

    So often my longings end up on a wish list for Christmas or in a “Kitchen Remodel” board on Pinterest. Click after click, line after line I secretly hope to satisfy my deepest desires. But it never works. Band Aids won’t heal a “World whose story bends under the weight of brokenness.” (Love that line bro!) Your prayer of advent longing felt like a invitation to put my desires back into the hands of the one who will actually come through in the end. Thanks for that! Keep writing!

    • Jeffrey Petersen
      December 19, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks Nate. I wrote it as a “me first” reminder. Glad it resonated!

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