Finding God Congregational Prayer

Thank you God for bright lights in dark times,
for sparkles and colours twinkling in the night,
for the whimsy and fun of Christmas decorations,
for the crimson of poinsettias and the deep evergreen of trees.
Thank you for savoury dishes and tasty treats,
for an abundance of food which allows for feasting,
all gifts from your good hands.
Thank you for the sound of Christmas carols,
of voices raised together in praise to you.
Thank you for the sound of children laughing.

In this season which is joyful for so many,
there are those among us who suffer.
Loneliness can seem more lonely,
estrangement more strange,
grief more grievous and deep.
Empty cupboards feel emptier at Christmas.
In the land of your birth, missiles and tanks wander
while children cry with fear.
We need your presence as Immanuel, God with us.

This Christmas, we want to be finding you–
finding you in the silence of the gray morning
and in the sweet smile of a child;
finding you in the dark starry sky
and in the warm handshake of a friend;
finding you in the familiar Christmas narrative
and in the story of a stranger;
finding you in our own hearts
and in the face of our enemies.

Immanuel, God with us,
we wait for your presence this Christmas.
Help us to give with generous hearts
and receive with thankfulness.
Give us patience in the face of irritation
and kindness in the face of anger;
fill us with contentment and peace
and remove all jealousy from us.
May our celebration of your birth
give honour to you in all we say and do
and may we enter the New Year refreshed
and our eyes peeled for the peace
you are bringing on earth.

New Book Coming Soon!

Carol Penner has written a devotional book for Lent that explores the challenges of repentance and forgiveness. Forty reflections and prayers to deepen your walk with God as you prepare for Easter.  

You can order it here!

About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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    Are you looking for resources for a Christian service? Feel free to use or adapt my prayers, poems and litanies. They are written in a Mennonite voice, for ears of all kinds. 

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