The Advent wreath is a beautiful tradition filled with rich symbolism for reflecting on the gift of Jesus Christ at Christmastime. Here are prayers for each week of advent that you can use as you light the candles of your advent wreath and remember all that God has done for us.
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Advent Wreath Prayer Week 1 - Hope
Heavenly Father, Advent is a time for remembering and reflecting on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Father, I pray that you will turn our hearts toward you as Christmas approaches. Let us not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year and miss the chance to celebrate the gifts of hope, peace, joy, love, that you sent to us on that first Christmas.
Father God, every word in scripture points to the gift of hope that we have because of Christ Jesus. The Christmas story wasn’t the beginning of that message of hope because the old testament is full of glimpses of your plan to redeem your people and restore them into a relationship with you, but we are able to truly begin to see and understand just how great your love for us is when we read the story of Jesus’ birth in scripture.
You showed us a glimmer of that hope as you chose to send your son into this earth through a family tree that was a little bent and scarred. We glanced it again as you chose a tribe that was small and a city that was lowly. It can be seen when we recognize that you don’t send your Son to be birthed in a fancy palace among the wealthy and the elite, but our King of Kings and Lord of Lords was born among common shepherds and livestock in a barn.
Help us to see that you are with us. Nothing is too difficult, too messy, or too dirty for you. Jesus came to give us the gift of eternal life through the salvation that only you, our Heavenly Father, can give when we believe on your Son, repent of our sins, and confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
That first Christmas, you gave us the gift of hope wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. Thank you, Father, for your immeasurable gift. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen
Advent Wreath Prayer Week 2 - Peace
Heavenly Father, You are the God who gives peace. This second week of Advent, cause us to remember that because of Jesus we can experience a Christmas free from turmoil and chaos. Regardless of our circumstances or our situations, you offer us peace that passes understanding.
That first Christmas, when you sent your Son, you sent the one who is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Even the angels cried out, ‘Glory to God in the Highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ The angels knew your purpose. They know the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love that Christmas held. They recognized the fullness of God was wrapped in the tiny flesh of an infant as you humbled yourself and dwelt among us. Emmanuel. God with us as the baby Jesus.
That baby would grow to be the same God-man, Jesus, who would again humble himself to face death on a cruel cross as payment for our sin. He would triumphantly defeat sin and death and hell in order to cancel our sin debt and reconcile us to you, Father.
You exalted Him and gave him a name above all names. Every knee in heaven and earth and under the earth must bow to the name of Jesus. The winds and waves obey Him. He rules and reigns as king over all. No situation or circumstance that we find ourselves in is a match for Jesus.
We are able to have the fullness of peace in our hearts on Christmas day, and every day, because that same Jesus sits at your right hand in heaven and makes intercession for us. Not only that, but he paid our sin debt. He loves us with a love that is unfathomable. Nothing can separate us from His love. He is good and his plans for us are good.
Father, this second week of Advent, keep us in perfect peace as our mind is stayed on the truth of your powerful love. Thank you for your mighty, sovereign hand. Help us to trust fully in you and rest in the peace that you offer. It’s in the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Advent Wreath Prayer Week 3 - Joy
This third week of Advent, let us remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth has the power to bring us great joy this Christmas season. Our joy isn’t dependent on what is going on in our life, in our world, or the people that we are with. It doesn’t depend on the gifts we give or the gifts we find under the tree. No earthly thing can ever give us complete joy. Our joy comes from you. That joy that flooded the hearts of the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the hosts of heaven, and Mary and Joseph is the joy that still has the power to overwhelm our hearts with rejoicing.
Those who gathered around the new baby were blessed because they believed that you had fulfilled your promises. Mary and Joseph believed and were able to feel the joy of holding baby Jesus in their arms. The shepherds and wise men believed the angles and the signs and experienced the great gladness of worshipping their Messiah.
Those who knew him and recognized him were overjoyed at the coming of Jesus. They saw the prophesies fulfilled and their fear was replaced with happiness as they gazed on the face of the one who would be their Savior. They trusted in your promises and their hearts were filled with gladness as they watched your loving-kindness manifested in the face of a tiny baby in a lowly manger.
Father, you offer that same joy to us now if we know you and recognize Jesus as our Savior and Lord. You gave us a reason to celebrate when you gave us the unspeakable gift of Jesus Christ. You came to dwell among us. You went to Calvary’s cross for us. You overcame death and rose from the dead for us. You forgive our sin and give us eternal life when we believe in you.
Our joy doesn’t come from our jobs, our family, our relationships, our finances, or our success. Our joy doesn’t come from what we have on earth or who we are with. Our joy is a gift. It is the gift that you gave us that first Christmas in Jesus Christ. Our joy is encompassed in our Savior, King Jesus. Flood our heart with joy this Advent season as we reflect on the good news of Jesus’ birth. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
Advent Wreath Prayer Week 4 - Love
Heavenly Father, The whole meaning of Christmas can be explained in one little four letter word…LOVE. You sent your gift of pure love to us that first Christmas. Love descended from heaven to be born of a virgin. Love lay in the scratchy hay of a manger in a meager barn in Bethlehem. All of your love, God, was robed in the delicate skin of a baby and wrapped in swaddling clothes. This final week of Advent, help us to reflect on the magnitude of love that was made manifest in Jesus.
You are King and King and Lord of Lords, Messiah and Ruler of All, yet you came not as a lion but as a lamb. You came as an innocent baby whose purpose was walk this earth in complete love, and then to sacrificially give his life as an atonement for the sins of His children. Emmanuel. God with us. Love in the form of a man.
There is no greater gift then this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You willing gave the gift of your life because of your love. Your righteous blood covered our sin. You redeem and restore us when we confess you as Lord and Savior of our life. In that moment you give us the gift of your love for all eternity. We receive grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy in that moment.
The greatest gift of all came that first Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package and set under a decorated tree. The greatest gift came wrapped in the flesh of baby Jesus and laid in the rough wood of a manger. Our perfect gift would later be rewrapped in the scars of our sin and nailed to the rugged wood of a cross on Calvary, all because of love.
Father, this final week of Advent, fill our hearts and minds with the significance of that truth. Thank you, Lord, for loving us enough to send Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
Photo Courtesy: flickr/ChristineMcIntosh
Originally published Wednesday, 13 November 2019.