A Prayer for the First Sunday of Advent (Year B)

[This is one of a series of Prayers for the Christian Year. To see the other posts, click here.]

Living, loving Father,

Restore us, O God. May Your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.

You are the Almighty God, who has led Your people throughout the centuries, yet many of Your children are suffering today Many are persecuted, lonely, or afraid. Open the heavens and set things right.

Restore us, O God of hosts. May Your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.

Although You have often seemed hidden or distant, for so long, You have shown up at just the right time in the lives of so many who have waited on You. You have done undeniable things among us. You are our Father; we are Your children. You are the potter; we are Your clay. We are the work of Your hands, and we trust You.

Restore us, O Lord, God of hosts. May Your face shine on us, so that we may be saved.

You came to us long ago in the life of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus. His grace continues to enrich us in every way. All that we need to live fully in You is generously available to us through Him, and we expectantly await the day when He will appear again.

Keep us alert and continue Your work of purifying and restoring us until the day when we see Him in His glory.

Until then, we will continue to join together with all of those before us who have lived in Him, praying the prayer that He taught us, saying,

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done,  on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours now and for ever. Amen


The readings for the week, on which this prayer is based, are:

  • Isaiah 64:1-9: Five of the six Old Testament readings from the beginning of Advent through Christmas Day in Year B come from Isaiah. This passage is part of a prayer for God's deliverance in 63:7-64:12, and begins with the petition that God would "tear open the heavens and come down."
  • Psalm 80:1-7,17-19: Part of a prayer to God which pleads for his intervention and rescue in the midst of circumstances which appear that God had forgotten his people. It includes the refrain, "Restore us...make your face shine on us, that we may be saved."
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3-9: Part of Paul's opening greetings in this letter to the Christians in Corinth. In it, he blesses them, expresses thanks for them, and looks forward to Christ's return, saying that "you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
  • Mark 13:24-37: The gospel readings for Year B focus on Mark, and the first two gospel readings in Advent come from this book. This passage is part of Mark's account of Jesus' teaching on the signs of the end of the age in the week between his triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his arrest, death, and resurrection. In it, Jesus alludes to Daniel's prophecy and points to the day when his hearers would see "the Son of Man coming in clouds with great glory," and urges them to remain ready for that day, saying, "what I say to you I say to all: keep awake."