Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well — since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. – Philippians 1:27-30 (NRSV)
Every so often in Advent, I return to the lectionary, but not this year. Instead, I will be considering Philippians 1:27-2:13. It’s an Advent text, in a way. Written to a church living in-between the Incarnation and Christ’s return, amidst conflict in culture, politics, and religion, we should be able to find something in common with the church in Philippi.
This week, we will be focusing on the end of chapter 1, specifically a life worth living. Coupled with the lectionary’s apocalyptic reading in Luke, we find ourselves struggling with hopelessness and hope.
Call to Prayer
With expectation and hope, we come before the Lord in prayer.
Our Prayer of Hopelessness and Hope with Psalm 27:1,7-9, 14 (CEB)
The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
But fear, we do. It is difficult not to when there are so many voices around us telling us we should be afraid. It is difficult to hold on to hope when bad news is the news of the day.
Do not hide your face from us, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been our helper. Do not reject us or forsake us, God my Savior.
We confess our hopelessness. We confess our willingness to believe the worst: of ourselves, of others, of you.
Hear our voices when we call, LORD; be merciful to us and answer us.
We confess our hopelessness. We confess our willingness to rely on ourselves or false securities of the world.
My heart says of you, “Seek the LORD’s face!” Your face, LORD, we will seek.
We confess our hopelessness. We confess our willingness to deny your power in our lives.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Words of Light Psalm 27:1, 13 (CEB)
The LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
We remain confident of this: We will see the goodness of the LORDin the land of the living.
Today we light a candle recognizing the light of hope in a dark world. It is the hope of our salvation.
In the name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven!
With expectation and hope, we come before the Lord in prayer. #hope #Advent Click To Tweet
If you are interested in more prayers like this, consider checking out my book:
Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for Worship Prayers for the People is a collection of prayers for worship or personal devotion. These prayers offer the worshipping community fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.