Advent Prayer Journey

On the afternoon of Sunday 3 December our ALM Carol guided us through an Advent Prayer Journey. You can travel this path yourself:

The Journey consists of 7 stations, starting at the back of the church, where you can pause for as long as you like. At each place there is a picture and some words to reflect on and a prayerful activity to do. Please feel free to do whatever you want to and to take as long as you want. We want you to enjoy this quiet space. Each journey will be different, but we pray that you will take away something special for yourself that will help you draw nearer to Jesus as the centre of your Christmas.

Station 1

IMG_8476We begin our journey.

What expectations and hopes do we have as we get nearer to Christmas?

Take a seed. Such a tiny thing, yet with so much potential for growth.

Let it remind you of your seeds of hope, your expectations for this Christmas.

Use the words on the card to think about your seed and its potential.

When you are ready plant your seed in the soil.

Small Beginnings

“Things great have small beginnings. Every downpour is just a raindrop; every fire is just a spark; every harvest is just a seed; every journey is just a step because without that step there will be no journey; without that raindrop, there can be no shower; without that seed, there can be no harvest.” – William Wilberforce

  • For the promise of harvest
  • contained within a seed
  • we thank you.
  • For the oak tree
  • within an acorn
  • The bread
  • within a grain
  • The apple
  • within a pip
  • The mystery of nature
  • gift wrapped
  • for us to sow
  • we thank you.

John Birch, Celtic Prayer and Resources

Station 2

We are now on our journey, but what are we carrying with us today? IMG_8477

Do we feel weighed down by worry, stress, the busyness around us?

Take a stone. Hold it, feel its shape and texture.

What burdens does the stone represent?

Read the words from the hymn ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’

When you are ready, give your burdens to Jesus by slowly dropping your stone into the bowl of water and leave it there.

  • What a friend we have in Jesus,
  • all our sins and griefs to bear!
  • What a privilege to carry
  • everything to God in prayer!
  • O what peace we often forfeit,
  • O what needless pain we bear,
  • all because we do not carry
  • everything to God in prayer.

 

  • Have we trials and temptations?
  • Is there trouble anywhere?
  • We should never be discouraged;
  • take it to the Lord in prayer.
  • Can we find a friend so faithful
  • who will all our sorrows share?
  • Jesus knows our every weakness;
  • take it to the Lord in prayer.

 

  • Are we weak and heavy laden,
  • cumbered with a load of care?
  • Precious Savior, still our refuge;
  • take it to the Lord in prayer.
  • Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
  • Take it to the Lord in prayer!
  • In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;
  • thou wilt find a solace there.

Station 3

IMG_8480We continue our journey.

Who is with us as we near Christmas?

Family?  Friends?  Others?

What are our concerns for them and because of them?

Use the prayer on the card to reflect on those who are sharing our journey .

Who is supporting us?

Who needs our support?

Take a leaf and hang it on the tree committing those we love to God’s care.

You can write your own prayer on the leaf .

  • Our walk with God
  • is never a lonely walk
  • it is a family occasion
  • if taken in the company
  • of God’s children.
  • If we lag behind
  • there are those who will turn
  • and offer words of encouragement
  • hold out a hand and offer assistance over stiles and other obstacles
  • share refreshment
  • help us from our knees
  • when we stumble.
  • Our walk with God
  • is never a lonely walk.
  • It is a joyful experience
  • as along the path others join us attracted by the company
  • of God’s children
  • singing the same songs of praise
  • that angels sing
  • following a path
  • worn down by tears and joy
  • and sacrifice
  • Our walk with God
  • is never a lonely walk
  • for he walks with us
  • on a track that leads
  • to a glorious
  • destination
  • John Birch, Celtic Prayer and Resources

 

The Centre

A still placeIMG_8483

A calm space

A quiet place

A space to think

A Space to be

Time to be

Enfolded by peace.

Soon you will need to move on, to begin your journey back into the world outside, but now rest in God’s presence for as long as you like.

The joy of discovery that moment when hope and expectation  were gloriously met by the illumination of one bright star.

We cannot imagine what words were spoken by visitors or if first impressions

left them somewhat confused.

Messiah, Saviour, a King born in the barest of palaces.

Yet they saw and fell down on their knees in adoration.

Lord, they saw you and knew whom they had met.

As we meet around crib, candle or advent wreath draw us into that stable in our imagination.

In the quiet moments of prayer this Christmas, that brief oasis from the bustle of the world bring alive to us the smell of the hay the sound of the animals the cry of a baby.

Draw us close to our Saviour Messiah and King as we bring not Gold, Myrrh or Frankincense but the gift of our lives the only offering we can bring.

-John Birch, Celtic Prayer and Resources

Station 4

IMG_8481As you begin your outward journey remember Christ came as the Light of the World.

His light will be with you on your journey if you ask to Him to walk with you and guide you.

On the card are some words about light.

Either take a candle or light a candle and imagine taking Christ’s light into all the dark places you will encounter .

When you light the candle here or at home be reminded of Christ’s light with you, especially this Christmas.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,

“I am the light of the world.

Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,

but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 (New International Version)

 

As dawn breaks through

gently erasing

the darkness of the night

heralding the start

of each new day

enable us to do the same

rising out of the darkness of our night

into the light of your revealing love.

 

John Birch, Celtic Prayer and Resources

 

Renew your promise to reveal among us the light of your presence.

May your word be a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path that we may behold your coming among us.

© The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, 2002-2004.”)

Station 5

IMG_8479Jesus came into the world for us because God loved us all so much.

That love will always be there; it never ends.

The words on the card remind us of how much we are loved by God.

Rest here and soak up God’s love for you and all those you care for .

Take a heart with you to remind you that God’s love is with YOU always, wherever you are.

OR

You might like to write something on your heart, and leave in the basket

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (New International Version)

We have heard your glorious whisper

Almost silent, yet insistent

Breaking through the chatter

Of many voices

The clatter

Of background noises

The wind

The rain Storm and hurricane

Through all of this

Your voice remains

Unchangeable

Cuts through to heart

And soul Unmissable

‘Come follow me

Pick up the Cross…

My burden is no burden at all

It is simply love

Poured out for you

And through you

Sustaining

Empowering …

Come follow me’

 

John Birch, Celtic Prayer Resources

Station 6

IMG_8478The end of this part of your Advent Journey.

Time to leave this quiet space, but you can always find your own quiet space in your heart.

God will meet you there.

We pray that you will leave this place filled with God’s hope, joy, peace and love and that this will enrich your life.

Please take a prayer card as you leave this space.

We wish you His blessings for this Christmas and as you continue your journey in the World.

IMG_8482

Be thou my vision, Lord

this day and every day

the centre of my life

the focus of my thoughts

 

Be thou my wisdom, Lord

the inspiration of my words

in every situation

Your Spirit my support

John Birch, Celtic Prayer Resources

For each step that I might take

Be my guide, O Lord of life

For each load that I might bear

Be my strength, O Lord of life

For each mountain I might face

Be my power, O Lord of life

For each river that might impede

Be my safety, O Lord of life

For each place where I might rest

Be my peace, O Lord of life

For each sunrise and sunset

Be my joy, O Lord of life

John Birch, Celtic Prayer Resources

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15: 13


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