Pause for Prayer: SUNDAY 12/6


We often pray at this time of year
   for those grieving the loss of a loved one at Christmas time,
But many also grieve the loss of someone who hasn't died:
   the loss of a friend to an argument or misunderstanding,
   the loss of a spouse through separation or divorce,
   the loss of family relationships through resentments and grudges,
   the loss of a neighbor who's moved away,
   the loss of of those we've just lost track of,
      friends who've just drifted away...

Christmas time brings all those we've lost back to our hearts.
Let's pray that the memories be as comforting as they may be difficult...

Dear Lord,

You know who it is, you know who they are:
   those I loved, and love still,
   who've slipped from my heart's embrace,
   from the union that once was ours,
   from the promises we once made,
   from the vows we once held sacred,
   from the friendship we used to enjoy,
   from the neighborhood we used to share...

You know who it is, Lord, you know who they are:
   and you know the place in my heart now empty
   for the loss of someone I loved...

This Christmas time I pray you'll come
   to heal my hurt,
   to mend my brokenness,
   to fill my emptiness with the fullness
   of your peace and your presence...

Where I'm able, help me reach out
   to heal and mend any pain I may have caused...

Where I need to, help me open up
   to others' offers of forgiveness and of peace...

Where there's distance, help me be the first
   to reach across the table or the ocean
   that keeps us from being one again...

And where the bond has broken
   beyond remedy or repair,
help me accept the pain that's mine to bear
   and pray for him, for her, for those
   who still hold a place in my heart,
   even if that place be empty...

Help me see how missing someone at Christmas
   is remembering how I held and how I hold
   that person in my heart...

Help me seek and find the peace
   that only you can give, Lord,
the peace that Christmas offers
   when my heart is most in need...



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