Prayers of the People - 4th Sunday in Advent - Year C - December 20th, 2015

Prayers of the People

4th Sunday in Advent (Year C)

December 20th, 2015

Here's a prayers of the people for the 4th Sunday in Advent (Year C), December 20th, 2015 inspired by Psalm 80.

Let us pray to the Lord our God saying:
"Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.":

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our Spirits rejoice in you, our Savior!
For you have looked upon the lowliness of your servants,
you have heard our cry and saved your people.
We shall be called blessed because we are called by you to be a blessing to others.
Your mercy is from generation to generation.
     Your mercy called Adam and Eve into being.
     Your mercy kept vengeance from taking Cain's life.
     Your mercy saved Noah and his family from the flood.
     Your mercy caused Sarah's womb to be fruitful.
     Your mercy gave Joseph's dreams the power to save a nation.
     Your mercy heard the Israelites' cry and called Moses to action.
     Your mercy charged Mary with the most special of tasks.
     Your mercy strengthened Joseph to care for her.
     Your mercy creates Jesus, who has come to save us.
We give you thanks for your mercy; may it continue to shine upon us!

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We remember this day those upon our hearts that crave your shining face,
who long for the light, who need your power to drive out the darkness:
     for those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,
     for those who cannot bring themselves to forgive others,
     for those who cannot forgive themselves,
     for those who seek refuge, but have been denied shelter,
     for those who seek shelter, but have been denied a home,
     for those who have lost loved ones in the past year,
     for those who have lost physical and mental abilities,
     for those who care for aging spouses and loved ones,
     for those who have been living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a congregation:
     as we seek to be the best stewards of the money with which we've been blessed,
     as we struggle with the financial burden of an aging building,
     as we search for the truth of your word and do our best to live it out in our lives,
     as we hold in tension that which we have been with that which you call us to be,
     as we serve one another and those with whom you called us into fellowship,
     as we continue to grow together as a congregation in a period of transition,
     as we wait, watch, and wonder in preparation of the coming of your Son.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

Gracious God,
as we finish this advent journey,
may we wait with Mary's joyful anticipation
as we prepare to welcome your Son, our Savior,
into this broken world in need of his redeeming.
Gather us, guide us, and keep us as your people.
Send us into the world that Christ's hands might be our own,
and his mind one with ours in all that you would have us do.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.  Amen.

Permission is given for use in congregational worship.  Please give the following credit:  "Written by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing -"


Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.