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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Mnt Hood | Main | What does Hebrews 6 actually say? »

    An Advent Prayer

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    ADVENT PRAYER 2006

    Our God and Father, Holy, Holy, Holy, Almighty, Transcendent, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

    We thank you that you are Great and Mighty, yet willing to dwell immanently with those who are contrite and humble in heart.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, you who were begotten of your Father before all worlds, god of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; By whom all things were made.

    We thank you that you Lord Jesus did not despise the virgin’s womb, but came down from heaven and was incarnate, enfleshed by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man.

    When we consider your birth Lord Jesus, the manger-cave in which you were born, we ask with the shepherds, with the Magi, and with Mary, “What Child is this?” and we worshipfully ponder this mystery in our hearts! We realize it is Christ the King, the Messiah, born to free sinners from their sins and make them children of the living God.

    When we look for God’s glory revealed to us, we look in the face of a baby in a lowly cave, born of humble parents, in a world of sin and misery. We see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. To see the revealed God in all his glory, we see the hidden God in a babe in the manger.

    In this child, the hidden God who we cannot approach because he is so holy made himself visible in flesh- - human flesh. This everywhere-present God, a God who is in all places at one time was made present in a crying infant to those who adored him.

    This all-powerful God showed forth all of his power in a small, weak and helpless little baby. This all-knowing God became flesh and dwelt among us as a baby, learning to understand the world around him, and teaching men that the true path to peace and the true way to God was through humility.

    Help us to learn as your people that we are to find love, joy, hope, and peace in the simplicity of faith, the carrying of our cross daily, the lowly circumstances, and weak occasions whereby we experience your strength and power.

    We thank you that you were crucified for your people, those you have loved from the foundation of the earth, and on the third day you rose according to the Scriptures, and you ascended into heaven and now sit at the right hand of God our Father.

    We thank you O Jesus, Messiah, Son of David, Eternal Son of God, the One named Jesus who has come to save his people from their sins, King of kings and Lord of lords, Lamb of God, Lion of Judah…

    “Joy to the world! The Lord is come…let heaven and nature sing”—let all creation praise God’s indescribable gift to us! Let us rejoice in the work of salvation and redemption secured and accomplished in human flesh on behalf of those whom you love.

    “Maranatha!” Come again, Lord Jesus to fully set your people free, to redeem us fully so that we might be part of a new heavens and a new earth, living joyfully in your presence forever!

    O, Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, we thank you for your presence, your power, your transforming grace that makes us like Jesus Christ.

    During this Advent Season, help your people to be reminded that your glory dwelt in human flesh so that we might have peace from the Prince of Peace.

    May we be forgiven for getting caught up in our materialistic, secular culture, where Christmas without Christ has become a commodity to be sold; Giving in order to get, forgetting that you are worthy of our praise and it was your gift in Christ that is the world’s only hope.

    We pray for peace, not as the world desires or thinks of peace, but your peace. The peace found in being united to the risen Christ, knowing that he will come again and renew all things and righteousness will cover the face of the earth as you have promised.

    Comfort, comfort your people this Christmas, O God, as we remember that Christmas, and the Advent Season, is the time in which you came to save mankind, by extending a familiar hand of flesh for sinful sinners born in Adam, in order to redeem and rescue them from this world of sin and misery.

    By the power of your Holy Spirit, may we as your people desire and long for the return of your risen, enthroned Son, the King of the Church, and we pray these things in His Name and for His sake!

    In the Name of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three-in-one, one-in-three, eternally existing,

    Amen.

    Posted by Charles Biggs on December 20, 2006 09:12 AM

    Comments

    Thank you for posting this, I will be using it to start my advent prayers.

    Pastor

    I would say amen with the words of Isaiah:

    Isa 64:1 Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence--
    Isa 64:2 as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil-- to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence!
    Isa 64:3 When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.
    Isa 64:4 From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.
    Isa 64:5 You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved?
    Isa 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
    Isa 64:7 There is no one who calls upon your name, who rouses himself to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities.
    Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
    Isa 64:9 Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all your people.
    Isa 64:10 Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.
    Isa 64:11 Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins.
    Isa 64:12 Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD? Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

    Amen

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