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Let us pray,* sisters and brothers, that as we enter the holy night of Christmas, the light of God's peace may overcome the darkness that surrounds us.

Silence

God our Creator, you have ordered the universe and made all things for good. May we take nothing for granted in this night, but look to the light of the world as our shining beacon in times of darkness. In all that we say and do, may we fall back onto your guidance. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that the great Shepherd of the sheep call us as part of his flock.

Silence

God of the obscure and small, no one is so weak that by your hand they cannot be made strong and bold in their compassion. As you chose Bethlehem of Ephrathah to be the cradle of our salvation, so make of the lowly and humble among us instruments of your grace. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that we will not be afraid when we come before the Lord.

Silence

God of Mary, God of Joseph, in you we have found favor, and through you we do marvelous works. Grant that we might have the hearts of servants, and that we might tend to all among us who are sick, grieving, dying, or in special need. For you are our God and our salvation. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that as God has been with us, so we will we remain with one another.

Silence

God our Immanuel, you have granted us untold grace and mercy. May we return the favor not by shaming those who have done us wrong, but by remaining with them in the covenants we have made. There is no other to turn them into, but only ourselves standing in the need of prayer. Heal the divisions of our families, our communities, our nation and the world, that in your steadfast love they may know again peace and acceptance. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that we might find joy and good news in a small child.

Silence

God of the newborn and all children, in your birth, you came to us and shared our common lot, and you welcomed people of all ages to come and sit with you. Bless this night all children, especially those who go hungry, who live in poverty and desperation, who suffer exploitation, violence and mistreatment at the hands of those who should care for them. May your coming be for them a sign of liberation and new life. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that we may follow Christ's star faithfully.

Silence

God our guide and end toward which we journey, you are the center of our restless search and our overflowing joy when we find ourselves to be with you. Give us diligence to walk the thirsty path until we come home to you, and in our last days, accept all of us into blessed peace and rest with you and all the saints who have remained your faithful pursuers. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Let us pray, sisters and brothers, that the light of Christ's love may shine upon us again.

Silence

God of the Word, through you all things have been made to serve the purpose of your love. Though we rejected you and continue to reject your call to love, yet you love us still and promise to return to us, as surely as the dawn rises in the winter sky. You have made us your children, and in you we are born of God. Fulfill in us all your grace and mercy, and remind us that your glory is revealed in the flesh and blood dwelling among us. In the child's name we pray. Amen.

Originally posted to pastordan on Wed Dec 24, 2008 at 09:09 PM PST.

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