First Sunday of Advent


by Beth A. Richardson

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Today we enter Advent, a season of possibilities, a time of “not yet.” But daily lives reflect human struggles. Sometimes we are surrounded by brokenness — in our lives, among our friends and families, in our worldwide family. Hope seems a far-off vision; yet we yearn for it to fill us. We cry together,

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we might be saved.

When hope is lost,

Restore us, O God.

When people are hurting,

Restore us, O God.

When nations are fighting,

Restore us, O God.

When children are hungry,

Restore us, O God.

Restore us, O God of life. Bring us closer to hope, the hope that lights the way on the journey to Bethlehem. During this season of waiting, may we be open to signs of your restoring love. As we light this first Advent candle, let us pray for God’s restoration in the midst of brokenness and despair.

Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we might be saved. Amen.

Suggested hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

Beth A. Richardson has been a part of The Upper Room’s publishing ministry for more than thirty years, serving Alive Now, Weavings, and in web ministry. She is currently The Upper Room's Director of Prayer and Worship Life. She is a photographer, writer, and shares life with Jack, a very wise Scottish Terrier, and Arya, a brilliant and clever rescue dog. Follow Beth at

Credit: Advent/Christmas prayers by Beth A. Richardson. © 2011 Alive Now. Permission granted to use in corporate worship settings. From November/December 2011 Alive Now. Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. 

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