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Advent Prayers for 2023 to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas

Advent is the time of year we celebrate the arrival of Christ on earth and His salvation for mankind. Use these powerful Advent prayers to give thanks to God and seek His love and grace.

Updated Dec 05, 2023
Advent Prayers for 2023 to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas

Advent prayers are a powerful way for Christians to prepare spiritually for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. These prayers often reflect on the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love, corresponding to the four weeks of Advent.

Advent Prayers for Each Week

Use these prayers for each week of Advent as we prepare and look forward to the celebration of Christmas:

1st Week of Advent

Prayer for Hope: Almighty God, grant us the grace to hope in you with unwavering trust. As we begin this season of Advent, may our hearts be filled with the hope that comes from knowing your promises are true. Amen.

2nd Week of Advent

Prayer for Peace: Prince of Peace, in a world filled with turmoil, grant us the tranquility that only your peace can bring. Help us to be instruments of reconciliation and harmony in our relationships and communities. Amen.

3rd Week of Advent

Prayer for Joy: Heavenly Father, fill our hearts with the joy that comes from knowing your love. May we rejoice in the good news of salvation and share that joy with others during this season of Advent. Amen.

4th Week of Advent

Prayer for Love: God of love, as we approach the celebration of the birth of your Son, help us to embody the love that He brought into the world. Teach us to love one another as you have loved us. Amen.

Prayers for Lighting the Advent Wreath:

1. Candle of Hope - "O God, as we light the first candle of Advent, may the flame remind us of the hope we have in Christ. Amen."

2. Candle of Peace - "Gracious God, as we light the second candle, fill our hearts with the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen."

3. Candle of Joy - "Heavenly Father, with joy, we light the third candle, anticipating the joy that comes from your salvation. Amen."

4. Candle of Love - "Loving God, as we light the fourth candle, may the flame symbolize the love you have poured into the world through your Son. Amen."

General Advent Prayer:

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

"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

Advent Prayers

The term "Advent" comes from the Latin word "arrival." The holiday's purpose and meaning are to look ahead to the coming of Christ to Earth, the birth of Jesus. This is really what the Christmas season is all about. It’s the holiday of the ADVENT of a new age in Jesus’ life, which allowed for the redemption of mankind. Advent prayers are traditionally used on each Sunday of Advent. You can take these prayers and use them during your personal time with God or pray for them as a family while you light the candles on the Advent wreath.

Through prayers for Advent, 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, we have gathered some of our favorite Advent prayers from across our archives and public domain sources to celebrate the arrival and glory of Christ!

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.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent

Get your FREE copy of 25 Days of Advent Devotionals and Readings! Print these and share them with family and friends to keep your mind's attention and heart's affection for Jesus this holiday season.

2. Advent Prayer: Birth of God's Son

Heavenly Father, you sent your messengers to tell of the birth of your Son so that people might believe in Him. Open our ears to hear your call, repent of our sins, and 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.

Freely modified from Mozarabic Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent

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 the 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 that block me from the worship of You this Advent. Lord, I await Your coming! As I celebrate the first Advent––the first coming––I look toward the day when 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 how I must be refined, purified, and forgiven today. Give me the strength to ask for forgiveness and 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.

Source: Freely modified from Mozarabic Collects (Ember Days in Advent)

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.

Source: Mozarabic Collect for the Fourth Sunday in Advent

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, 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

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: Gelasian

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.

~Renee Swope, “The Manger of My Heart” from Proverbs 31 Ministries

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, addictions, 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

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

16. Nativity Fasting Prayer

O Only-Begotten Son and Word of God: I truly believe and confess that You became flesh and dwelt among us for the whole world's salvation. 

At Your Nativity, You endured the cold of the manger to enkindle within me a love for You. You were bound in swaddling clothes to deliver me from the chains of sin and death. You were nourished with milk and thereby fed the Body which one day would suffer for my sake. 

During these days of fasting and prayer, forgive me—unworthy as I am—all the sins by which I have offended Your infinite goodness. Renew in me fervent faith, unfailing hope, and a charitable desire to serve others. Accept this act of thanksgiving, just as You accepted the gifts and worship of the Wise Men, and preserve us all from dangers that we may adore You and say: Glory to You, O Lord Jesus Christ, forever and ever. AMEN!

17. Nativity of Christ

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, has shone the light of wisdom to the world! For by it, those who worshiped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Orient from on high (Luke 1:78). O Lord, glory to Thee!

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Luke 1:76-79

The "O Antiphons" for Advent

The "O Antiphons" are a set of seven liturgical antiphons that are traditionally used in Christian Advent worship, particularly in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and some other Christian traditions. These antiphons are chanted or recited on the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve, from December 17th to December 23rd. Each antiphon addresses Jesus Christ using a different Old Testament title or prophecy, emphasizing various aspects of His identity and role as the Messiah. These titles are:

  1. O Sapientia (O Wisdom): "O Wisdom, who came forth from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly, come and teach us the way of prudence."

  2. O Adonai (O Lord): "O Lord and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai, come and redeem us with outstretched arm."

  3. O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse): "O Root of Jesse, who stands as a sign for the peoples, before whom kings shall shut their mouths, whom the nations shall invoke, come to deliver us, do not tarry."

  4. O Clavis David (O Key of David): "O Key of David and Scepter of the house of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."

  5. O Oriens (O Dayspring): "O Dayspring, radiant of the light eternal and sun of justice: come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death."

  6. O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations): "O King of the nations, and their desire, the cornerstone making both one: come and save the human race, which you fashioned from clay."

  7. O Emmanuel (O God with Us): "O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the One whom the nations long for and their Savior: come and save us, O Lord our God."

Each antiphon is typically accompanied by a verse from the Bible, often from the book of Isaiah, that further elaborates on the Messianic theme associated with the title. These antiphons serve as a meaningful way for Christians to reflect on the significance of Christ's coming and to prepare for the celebration of His birth during the Advent season.

Sources

12 Advent Prayers - Reflect on Jesus! ~ crosswalk.com

Advent - A Collection of Prayers ~ acollectionofprayers.com


This article is part of our larger Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ. We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his Son, Jesus Christ!

What Is Advent: Definition & Meaning Behind Christmas Tradition
Advent Bible Verses
Advent Readings
Advent Wreath and Candles Meaning and Symbolism
Advent Prayers

Advent Week 1: The Candle of Hope ~ First Sunday of Advent Prayers and Readings
Advent Week 2: The Candle of Peace ~ Second Sunday of Advent Prayers and Readings
Advent Week 3: The Candle of Joy ~ Third Sunday of Advent Prayers and Readings
Advent Week 4: The Candle of Love ~ Fourth Sunday of Advent Prayers and Readings

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