Winter Solstice Prayer

God of Creation:
the winter solstice sun is low,
crouched over the southern horizon.
All day long shadows pivot and turn
pointing to a longer night, the longest night.
And so we pray,
Lord, we are longing for light!

Our community has touched
the darkness of death this week,
as we said good-bye to our dear friend ___________.
Thank you that we who dwell in darkness
have seen a great light in our Saviour Jesus Christ.
He welcomes us in death to an eternal resurrection
to dwell with you in glorious light
with all the saints in heaven.
And so we pray,
Lord, we are longing for light!

Comfort the family of _____________,
and our whole community as we grieve her passing.
Help us carry the heaviness of grief together.
We pray for all who lonely, and those who are sick,
especially those in the hospital:  ______________.
We pray for all who are burdened in this dark season
with dark thoughts and melancholy moods.
And so we pray:
Lord, we are longing for light!

Thank you for places we see light.
For every act of kindness, no matter how small.
For hungry people being fed at the foodbanks in our city.
For the many people who helped to provide affordable homes this week
through the work of Habitat for Humanity.
For all who donate their time and money to help those less fortunate.
We know that the world needs more light like this!
And so we pray:
Lord, we are longing for light!

On this fulcrum day
where the earth swings its way back towards the sun,
we give thanks for Jesus Christ,
who came as Light into the World,
illuminating our way.
And so we pray:
Lord we are longing for light!
In every way, every day,
help us to walk in your light! Amen.

[If there is room in your bulletin, you can print this out,
or if you are reading this now on a Saturday before you lead worship,
you could instruct the congregation,
“When you hear, ‘And so we pray’,
please respond with ‘Lord, we are longing for light!’”
Have them practice this once before the prayer.
Then as leader you would say the last two lines.]


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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