"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:
"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth." - John 1:14
Meaning of Advent
The term "Advent" comes from the Latin language meaning "arrival." The holiday's purpose and meaning are to look ahead to the coming of Christ to Earth, the birth of Jesus. Christ’s arrival brought the dawn of a new covenant and salvation, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This is really what the Christmas season is all about. It’s the holiday of the ADVENT of a new age in Jesus’ life and sacrifice for the redemption of mankind.
Through prayer, we can connect with God’s grace and love in asking Him to ready our hearts as He prepared all of history to receive the gift of His Son. Pray to the Father for focus and devotion during Advent to cut away the distractions and make your life a place of warmth and faith. Here are gathered Advent prayers from across our archives and public domain sources to celebrate the arrival and glory of Christ!
15 Powerful Advent Prayers
1. Advent Prayer: Jesus Christ our Lord
O God, by your holy prophets you promised that your only Son would come in the flesh for us and be born of a virgin. In these last days you have fulfilled your Word. When he who came to redeem the world
comes to be our judge, let us not be put to shame; through the merits of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Advent Prayer: Birth of God's Son
Heavenly Father, you sent your messengers to tell of the birth of your Son, that people might believe in him. Open our ears to hear your call, to repent of our sins, and to seek our heavenly inheritance.
May we profess Christ until we stand by his grace before the glory of your majesty; Grant this for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
3. An Advent Prayer for Courage
Dear Heavenly Father, Help me to hear your voice. Touch me once again. Give me the courage to be your beloved. Give me courage to choose joy. I need you now this Christmas. Be born in me again. Today. In Jesus' name, Amen.
~Bonnie Gray, from “Why it Takes Courage to Choose Joy”
4. A Prayer to Prepare My Heart for Christ’s Coming
Father, just as You sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus, help me to clear the path in my heart, too. Show me the distractions in my life that block me from all-out worship of You this Advent. Lord, I await Your coming! As I celebrate the first Advent––the first coming––I look toward the day where I will see You face to face. I imagine what it will be like. Give me a heart, Lord, that looks for Your coming on a daily basis. Help me to live my life where I'm constantly seeking Your presence. My offering to You today is my righteous life for I know I am only clean because of Jesus. Show me today how I need to be refined, purified, forgiven. Give me the strength to ask for forgiveness and to then change my ways.
~Sarah Martin, from “The Awe & Wonder of Advent: Day 18”
5. Advent Prayer: Burning Zeal
O Lord God, at the first coming of your Son Jesus Christ, you sent John the Baptist in the spirit and power of Elijah to prepare the way before him. Grant to the ministers of your Word and sacraments
the same burning zeal to prepare the way for his coming again; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
6. Advent Prayer: Defend Us from Temptation
O Lord, raise up your power and come to deliver us, that we who are oppressed by temptations may be defended by your power, that the hosts of the enemy may never prevail against us. Hear us in your mercy, O Lord Christ, who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.
7. Advent Prayer: Grace for the Future
Awaken us, O Lord God, with your grace for the future. As you graciously forgive our sins, protect and strengthen us from all danger of future sins, so that we may serve you with a clear conscience,
and joyfully receive our Lord Jesus Christ when he comes again in glory; he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.
Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 282. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.
8. Advent Prayer: Awaken Us
Dear Lord God, awaken us, that we may be ready when your dear Son comes, that we may receive him with joy and serve you with pure hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: Die pommersche Kirchen-Ordnung und Agenda, p. 282. Translated for A Collection of Prayers.
9. Advent Prayer: Prepare Our Hearts
O merciful God, you sent your eternal Word to take on human nature in the womb of the virgin Mary. Grant that your chosen people may put off fleshly desires, to prepare their hearts for the visitation of your dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. Amen.
Source: Wilhelm Loehe, Agende für christliche Gemeinden des lutherischen Bekenntnisses, 1844
10. Advent Prayer: For Light
O Lord, incline your merciful ears to our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our hearts by the light of your visitation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Source: Gelasian Sacramentary, fifth century, Advent 3.
11. Advent Prayer: For Deliverance from Sin
O Lord, look mercifully on us, and grant that we may choose the way of peace. Rescue us from the captivity of the sins which have oppressed us, that we may attain the dwellings of the heavenly Jerusalem;
through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Source: Sarum Rite, eleventh century
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.
12. Kindle Our Hearts by Your Spirit
Almighty God, fulfill our desire and kindle our hearts by your Spirit, that being filled with the oil of your grace, we may shine as bright lights at the coming of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Source of this version: Freely modified from A Century of Collects, selected and translated by Atwell M. Y. Baylay, 1913.
13. An Advent Prayer for the Lord to Come
This Advent, Lord, come to the manger of my heart. Fill me with Your presence from the very start. As I prepare for the holidays and gifts to be given, Remind me of the gift You gave when You sent Your Son from Heaven. The first Christmas gift, it was the greatest gift ever. You came as a baby born in a manger. Wrapped like the gifts I find under my tree, Waiting to be opened, to reveal Your love to me. Restore to me the wonder that came with Jesus' birth, When He left the riches of Heaven and wrapped Himself in rags of earth. Immanuel, God with us, Your presence came that night. And angels announced, "Into your darkness, God brings His Light." "Do not be afraid," they said, to shepherds in the field. Speak to my heart today, Lord, and help me to yield. Make me like those shepherd boys, obedient to Your call. Setting distractions and worries aside, to You I surrender them all. Surround me with Your presence, Lord, I long to hear Your voice. Clear my mind of countless concerns and all the holiday noise. Slow me down this Christmas, let me not be in a rush. In the midst of parties and planning, I want to feel Your hush. This Christmas, Jesus, come to the manger of my heart. Invade my soul like Bethlehem, bringing peace to every part. Dwell within and around me, as I unwrap Your presence each day. Keep me close to You, Lord. It's in Your wonderful Name I pray.
14. Prayer of Gratitude for the Birth of Jesus
Father God, we thank You and praise You today for the miracle of Your Son's birth. Thank You for bringing great JOY to the whole world! Thank You for giving us the assurance that because You came to us in the form of a human, we who believe in Jesus can know with absolute certainty that we'll spend eternity with You. We thank You, Lord, for the many reasons we have been given a merry Christmas. And we rejoice for each blessing. New life. New love. A home. A job. New opportunities. Second chances. And more. We know, Lord, that You bring the sun and the moon and set the stars in motion. You tell the ocean where to stop and the snow when to start. And we thank You for the mighty gift of Your creation.
Thank You, Father, for spiritual leaders and faith-filled friends who keep encouraging us when we are close to giving up. And although we have many reasons to rejoice today, Lord, we also know December 25 can be not-so-merry for a whole host of reasons. We pray for those who are experiencing loss during Advent: relational, financial, spiritual and physical. We pray for those who are coping with loving a prodigal and our friends and family members whose hearts are far from You. We pray for those dealing with unemployment and addictions and chronic sickness... and unending pain and frustrations of all kinds. Thank You, Lord, that You are The Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace, even in the midst of our not-so-merry circumstances.
Finally, Lord, we ask You to grant us peace. Peace in our homes, peace in our churches, and peace in our hearts, when the world all around us spins out-of-control. Help us to stay focused on You, this Advent season and always. Thank You for loving the whole world enough to send the greatest gift, Your Son, so that we might truly have a very merry Christmas. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
~Steph Raquel, from “A Christmas Prayer for the Merry… and Not-So-Merry , Prov. 31 Ministries
15. Advent Prayer: Make Us Watchful
O Lord our God, make us watchful and cheerful as we await the coming of your Son, Christ our Lord, that when he comes and knocks, he will find us not sleeping in sins but awake and rejoicing in his praises; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Source: Gelasian Sacramentary
Source of this version: Modified from Ancient Collects, and Other Prayers, ed. William Bright, 1902, p. 16 #4
12 Advent Prayers - Reflect on Jesus! ~ crosswalk.com
Advent - A Collection of Prayers ~ acollectionofprayers.com
This article is part of Christianity.com's prayer answers including famous, topical prayers and information about the power of prayer. Find more related articles in the collection of prayers below:
The Serenity Prayer, The Lord's Prayer, Morning Prayers, Prayers for Healing, Thanksgiving Prayers, Advent Prayers, Christmas Prayers, Prayers for Peace, Prayers for Protection, Prayers for Strength, Praying in the Spirit.