02 December 2012

A Prayer for the First Sunday in Advent

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
(1 Peter 1:10-12 ESV)

Dear Heavenly Father, it’s the first Sunday in Advent, a season of anticipation and celebration—a time to reflect on every good thing you’ve already done for us in Jesus, and the glorious things yet to be realized.

You’ve made promises you alone can keep; you give peace that can be found nowhere else; you’ve pledged a hope you alone can fulfill.  We praise you; we bless you; we worship you. As Advent progresses, fill us to overflowing with gratitude, humility and joy.

Father, grant us intense longings—like the ones that filled the heart of the prophets. The promise of grace and the Spirit of Christ thrilled them, as they anticipated the era of the Messiah—the time when you would begin to make all things new through Jesus.

And grant us joy-filled intrigue, like that felt by the angels. Your heavenly servants were overwhelmed as they pondered your unfolding story of redemption and restoration, for men and creation. We are the people the prophets were speaking about. We are the people angels envied. Hallelujah, many times over!

Lord Jesus, multiplied “glories” have already come to us, and many, many more will follow, all because of the sufferings you offered on our behalf—once and for all. Indeed, every promise God has made finds its “Yes!” in you. May this entire Advent season bring us back to your manger, back to your cross, back to your empty tomb; and moving forward with you into your new creation story.
Long expected Jesus, you have come and you are coming again. You are the desire of every nation; you are the joy of every longing heart. By your all sufficient merit, you have raised us and you will raise us yet. So very Amen we pray, with gratitude and anticipation, in your loving and triumphant name. - Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

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