Epaphras Prayer Letter

First Sunday of Advent

Week of November 22, 2021 | Sunday, November 28, 2021

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap” (vs. 34). Jesus cautions against losing the sense of joyful expectation and eager anticipation belonging to all those who bear the name of Christian as they hope for that day when they will stand before their Lord. The apocalypse which Jesus both describes and predicts will be a fearful thing for those not expecting it… those “weighed down with dissipation” … those weighed down with “drunkenness” … and those weighed down with the “cares of this life.” That great and terrible day will be sprung upon them suddenly… a nasty surprise… as unwelcome as a trap which they cannot escape. But you… oh, you who have already heard the Word of God… oh, you who have already been baptized into the death and life of Jesus Christ… oh, you who have had a preacher fill your ears with the Law that puts you to death and the Gospel that raises you to new life… you wait with joyful expectation and eager anticipation for that day when you will stand before the Son of Man, your Lord Jesus Christ.


Prayers for the church, nation, and world…


Let us pray for the church, that holy assembly of those gathered wherever the Word of God is preached, and his Sacraments are administered, that it not lack for preachers and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Let us pray for the church, that holy assembly of those possessing the Holy Spirit and faith in their hearts, whose existence is hidden from us that we, nonetheless, may be confident of the church’s existence. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Let us pray for the church, that little flock of Christ’s sheep gathered in my community, that the Word of God, Jesus Christ, be preached among it and that those gathered recognize their Shepherd’s voice. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Let us pray for our nation dedicated to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion that it not lose sight of the tyranny that results when those freedoms are denied. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Let us pray for the world broken as it is by sin: Grant that we as messengers of Jesus Christ and his gospel may bring the healing it could have in his name and the hope, joy, and anticipation of the day when all his elect will be gathered to stand before him. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Let us pray for the Institute of Lutheran Theology that its students, gathered out of the world, may be sent back into the world as preachers and teachers of Jesus Christ and his gospel. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Let us pray for those who wait… who wait for healing… who wait for freedom… who wait for the dissipation of the cares of this mortal world to pass… who wait for that day when Jesus Christ shall come in all his glory… that their waiting not be in vain and that they should not lose patience. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Into your hands, heavenly Father, we commend all for which we pray, trusting in your love and mercy to deliver those things needful. Amen

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