Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of December 7, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance*

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old,  

from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold:  

“Peace on the earth, good will to all, from heaven’s all gracious King.”  

The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing. 

The night sky is rainy tonight – not exactly ‘the midnight clear,’ O God. But, you are God of all of the nights. The ones that are stormy, the ones that are clear; the sleepless ones and the late ones. O Lord, we do want to rest tonight. We want to hear angels sing and we want “peace on earth,” to be our last thoughts for this evening. However, O God who hears our sighing along with the angels singing, you know what is filling our minds with noise. Worry. Deadlines. Concerns about the world and heartache for those near and dear to us. In this time of prayer, O God, in this moment of choosing to pray, may we sit for a moment in solemn stillness …may we listen for your breath, your angels. We pray that those we love may feel your peace and stillness this very moment. 

Still through the cloven skies they come with peaceful wings unfurled, 

 and still their heavenly music floats o’er all the weary world;  

above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing,  

and ever oe’r its Babel sounds the blessed angels sing. 

We know that as the sky moves from dusk to evening to midnight to dawn, your Breath, your Spirit, your messengers, your angels continue to be with us. Even when we turn away from you – whether by sleep or by decisive actions, you continue to come to us. Tune our ears O Composer of Life, that we might hear your singing above any other noise: the scripts we play over and over in our heads telling us who we SHOULD be, the voices who are telling us we need MORE, the culture who tells us we are not relevant, and any other babble that seeks to gain our attention. Let us hear your voice as you bend towards us. 

And ye, beneath life’s crushing load, whose forms are bending low, 

 who toil along the climbing way with painful steps and slow, 

Look now! For glad and golden hours come swiftly on the wing.  

O rest beside the weary road, and hear the angels sing! 

When we listen to your messengers and to your heart, O God, we are prompted to look towards others. Our hearts are heavy but full of prayers for those who are toiling, whose lives are so difficult. Whether they are soldiers in a far off land, EMTs on local roads, teachers doing their very best, parents struggling to ‘make Christmas,’ leaders striving to do the right thing, caregivers who feel tied to a bedside, and so many more. We pray that in the morning they may awake with renewed hope; that they hear the angels sing! 

For lo! The days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old,  

when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold  

when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling,  

and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.  

Having spent time in prayer to you and with you, O God of the nighttime, may we feel the assurance of a solemn stillness. You are with us. We are not alone. You bend towards us and hear our prayers …. 

Church friends have asked for prayers for….

  • Help for teachers with difficult classes and workloads.
  • A brother just diagnosed with colon cancer; prayers for upcoming surgery
  • Members of other United Methodist churches who are dealing with disaffiliation process
  • Families going through transition; caregivers moving away and making decisions for other family members in chronic health situations
  • Members who have been diagnosed with Covid and flu; prayers for safety and recovery
  • A daughter and son-in-law hoping for pregnancy; for all those dealing with fertility concerns during this season especially.
  • Friends and family who are dealing with chronic health concerns; the caregivers
  • Those who are waiting on tests and follow up appointments
  • That insurance company will work with a family
  • A mother who is in hospital after a fall

Our church family offers prayers of thanksgiving for….

  • A son who has worked hard and is being recognized by his industry
  • Adult children who are content
  • A wonderful Advent Craft Fair. Thankful for all of the volunteers and the families who attended!
  • Clear report on blood tests
  • A daughter-in-law who has found a job!
  • A church member’s successful back surgery
  • Members who have been able to leave hospital and rehab and go back to assisted living facilities

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

*Tonight’s prayer inspired by Edmund H. Sears’ carol, It Came upon the Midnight Clear (1849)

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