Joy to the World Advent Prayer

God, giver of joy,
thank you for the open sweet gaze of babies,
for the irrepressible giggles of toddlers,
and for the sight of preschoolers holding hands as they play.
Thank you that we are made for joy
and that advent reminds us of this.
Help us wait in hopeful anticipation for this gift of joy–
an incongruous Saviour, the Prince of Peace
come down to us as a baby in diapers.
Jesus, give joy this week even to those who are suffering:
joy in the midst of illness, through a keen sense of your presence,
joy in the midst of grief, through an awareness of love deeper than death,
joy in the midst of anxiety, through sudden fleeting moments of beauty.
We are waiting for joy in a world that is often bleak and cheerless.
There is always something bothering us, a shadow.
Evil flourishes, and it blights lives and communities.
And we help it flourish—
we confess our own selfishness, hoarding things for ourselves,
or our own racism, our own fear of the other, fear of the stranger.
Around the world you know the suffering we inflict on each other.
Thank you for that even in this barren earth,
you cause joy to bubble up.
In joy, help us lavish generosity at Christmas;
not just on those we love, but generosity to charities, and to those in need.
Help us lavish forgiveness on those who’ve hurt us.
We long for the joy of relationships renewed and restored
All this joy to the world is from you,
radiating out from a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.
We join our hearts together this morning in joyful praise:
Glory to God in the Highest!  Gloria! Amen

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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