A Prayer Service for the First Week of Advent: Abraham and Sarah

Many of the links on this blog no longer function, but the book is still available. I will fix those links eventually, and maybe in two or three years I will redo the Advent book as a daily devotional book, but in the meantime, let’s focus on the main themes of Advent. This is what the season of Advent helped me to do:  to find focus when all is not completed.

This week the Advent characters are Abraham and Sarah. Here is a combination of Scripture and prayer that you can read when you light the first candle of your Advent wreath. Here is a file you can download:  Advent prayers 2019 It includes the Scriptures that are below, a picture to color, and a simple reading for children.

Advent Week 1

If you’re reading in a group, read the bold print verses in unison.

Advent prayers 2019

In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were commanded to make several yearly pilgrimages to Jerusalem to remember God’s goodness to their nation and to make a new commitment to following his ways.

In our New Testament era, we do not have a Temple to visit every year. Instead, God lives within us. There are many tools that we can use to help us remember his faithfulness to us. One of these tools is Advent.

Advent is a yearly pilgrimage—an inner journey of prayer and remembrance. Instead of following a map to physical landmarks, we will follow a path of faithfulness through the Scriptures. We will see God’s faithfulness to send the promised Messiah, and we will renew our awareness that we await that same Messiah to return as our glorious King.

We begin by remembering Abraham and Sarah, a couple who obeyed God as they set out on a journey with no idea where they would end up.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing…”

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him. (Genesis 12:1-2, 4)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths. (Psalm 25:4)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

…The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great… And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1, 5)
…The Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. (James 2:23)

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20) 

[Abraham] was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.
(Hebrews 11:10-11) 

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. (Psalm 25:10)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

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.
You meet him who joyfully works righteousness,
those who remember you in your ways. (Isaiah 64:4-5)

Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:5)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah…Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 33:14-16)

Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins. (Psalm 25:18)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

During Advent, we remember that just as the Old Testament saints waited for their Messiah, we are waiting for our King:

You have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.  God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (I Corinthians1:7-9 NLT)
…May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,  so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. (I Thessalonians 3:12-4:4) 

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant. (Psalm 25:14)

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield. (Psalm 33:20)

Father in Heaven,
Teach us your paths, O Lord.
Help us, like Abraham, to step out in faith to follow you,
even when we don’t know where you are leading us.
Help us, like Sarah, to consider you faithful.
All your paths are steadfast love and faithfulness,
and we trust you to be our help and shield as we wait for you.
Our hearts are full of prayers and hopes that we are waiting on you to answer and fulfill.
You are our righteousness, Lord.
You are faithful to do what you say,
and you have invited us into partnership and friendship with your Son.
May we increase in love for our friends and neighbors,
those who have already trusted you and those who have not.
You will keep us strong as we eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Establish our hearts in holiness.
Make us to know your ways, O Lord.
You are our Friend and our Righteousness.
You are Immanuel, God with us.
Our soul waits for you, Lord,
you are our help and our shield.
In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Amen.

End your candle service with a hymn. You might enjoy this. I colored the picture from the printout while I listened.

 

Daily Advent Readings begin here.

Photo credit:  Amy Mayfield

One thought on “A Prayer Service for the First Week of Advent: Abraham and Sarah

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