category: Liturgy, Prayer

Self-Care Advent Calendar 2021 and Weekly Advent Prayers

By Rachael Keefe

Advent calendar 2021 and weekly Advent prayers Year C

Self-Care Advent Calendar 2021 and Weekly Advent Prayers

Advent Week 1 Prayer for Hope

Advent Prayer based on Psalm 25:1-10

To you, O God, I offer the whole of me. I put my trust in you and ask you to keep me from collecting shame. Do not let the behavior of others take away my sense of worth. I wait for your wisdom and seek to avoid the shame others would put on me; let those who act against your love experience shame enough to bring change. Make your holy ways known to me, O God. Teach me how to embody your Love. Lead me in your truth, show me the fullness of Creation, for your ways save me from my own foolishness. May I seek your ways every day, every moment. Have mercy on me, O God, and allow me to experience your steadfast love, your steadfast love which has endured through the ages. Free me from the sins, the transgressions, the harmful ways of my youth. Awaken me anew to your steadfast love that I may share your goodness with all. You are good and righteous; you teach freedom from the pain of sin. You lead the humble to your love, and teach the humble how to live in your holy ways. All your ways are steadfast love and faithfulness. May my life, and the lives of all who seek you, reflect your love and mercy. Amen.

Advent Week 2 Prayer for Peace

Advent Prayer based on Baruch 5:1-9

Holy One, help me, and all who seek you, to remove our garments of sorrow and affliction and put on forever your beauty and glory. May we wear robes of your goodness and crowns of your glory, allowing your light to shine through us everywhere we go.

We know the time has come for us to arise and hold our heads high. Help us to trust your love enough to know we can gather from the west and the east, and live in the joy of your presence. I know that I, and everyone else, can be led away into the wilderness of destruction by poor choices. You, in your mercy and grace always call us back to your holy was of peace and glory. You have commanded us to lower those in high places and lift up those in low places, to create equity and justice so that all may live in your glory. You created the woods and every tree to offer shade for us. You will always lead us with joy, in the light of your glory, with mercy and righteousness that only come from your holy ways. Grant me the courage to follow your ways and bring peace into the world. Amen.

Advent Week 3 Prayer for Joy

Advent Prayer based on Philippians 4:4-7

God of all seasons, fill me with joy so that I may always rejoice; may I find joy in every moment.

May your gentleness be known through me, always, for you are near.

Keep me from all worry and enable me to bring everything to you in prayer. May I find the courage and freedom to come to you with my prayers and supplications, longings and praises.

And may your peace, which passes all understanding, guide my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Advent Week 4 Prayer for Love

Advent Prayer based on Luke 1:46b-55

Loving God, may my spirit point always to you, and may I rejoice in you, my Savior. You look with favor on the lowliest of your servants. May I be one of them so that generations to come may know your blessings. You, Mighty One, have done great things for me; may I always reflect your holiness. Your mercy is for all, especially those who live in awe of you, recognizing your steadfast love from generation to generation. You have shown your strength. Please scatter those who rejoice in oppressive power and soften their hearts. Bring down the abusers of power and lift up the lowly. Fill the hungry with good things and send the arrogant away. Help us all to honor and remember your mercy. May we live in the promise of your hope, peace, joy, and love forever. Amen.

You Might Also Be Interested in this Advent Book

From the back cover: This book invites the reader to experience Advent as a spiritual journey to Bethlehem, a journey from darkness to light. Each week explores the traditional themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love that are present throughout the season. It begins on the first Sunday of Advent inviting the reader to be open to new or unexpected encounters with God, to find the mystery and wonder so often missed in day-to-day life. Each daily meditation offers a poetic, insightful reflection on scripture verses that voice the human spirit’s longing for the Holy Spirit–the continued struggle to find light in a dark world. As the journey unfolds, the reader will walk through the cold bleakness of the winter season and the bitterness of despair, guided by the hope, peace, joy, and love promised in Christ, fulfilled on Christmas Day.

“These Advent meditations are the most challenging, creative, and meaningful ones ever published. Rachael Keefe integrates her biblical knowledge, her pastoral and prophetic perspectives, her psychological and spiritual understanding of persons, and her own life’s pilgrimage to offer profound insights and challenges for our spiritual journey through Advent. Anyone’s Advent will be enriched and made more meaningful by interacting with Keefe’s soul and mind in the meditations.” —Merle Jordan, Emeritus Professor, Boston University School of Theology

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image description: a feminine-looking hand with light skin is holding a copy of A Circle in the Dark; the cover has four low candles burning in darkness
image description: a slender hand with light skin is holding a copy of A Circle in the Dark; the cover has four low candles burning in darkness
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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

4 thoughts on “Self-Care Advent Calendar 2021 and Weekly Advent Prayers”

  1. I AM presently a chaplain and THANK YOU very much for sharing this, Rachael. I’m also working toward ordination in the UCC! I will use this and share with others! May your Advent season be richly blessed!


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