Here's the Christmas version of my prayer from Thanksgiving, for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones this week. Please do share this with others who might find it helpful...
There's an empty chair near the tree,
an ache in our hearts
and tears on our faces...
We may try to shield one another
from the grief we bear
but we cannot hide it from you...
We pray for (names)
whose presence we miss so much
in these days of peace and joy...
Open our hearts and minds
to the healing, the warmth,
the light of your presence...
We pray, Lord, and we trust
that those we miss
have found the place that you've prepared for them:
a home within your heart...
Open up our hearts, Lord,
to joyful memories of the love we shared
with those who've gone before us...
Be with us as we sing and cry our way
through Christmas carols:
help us unwrap the gift you bring,
the gift of peace,
born long ago in Bethlehem,
in Christ the Prince of peace...
Help us tell again the stories
that make the past now present
and bring us close again
to those we miss...
Teach us to lean on you, Lord,
and on each other,
for the strength we need
to walk this week
our path of joy and sorrow...
And give us quiet moments
with you, with our thoughts,
with our memories and our prayers...
Be with us, Lord,
and hold us in your arms
as we pray you hold all those
who've gone before us...
Help us to trust that one day
we shall be again with those we love
when your mercy gathers us together
in the peace and joy you promise us...
This is the Christmas you've made, Lord,
the only one we'll have this year:
help us to rejoice in it and find
the blessings of your peace...
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