Christmas 4: Zechariah’s Prayer

The Story of Christmas
Day 4 Reading:
Luke 1:57-80

For a reflection on this scripture, click here

Perhaps this is the gift of silence, it shuts off our brains enough for us to receive a new story and, like Zechariah, to worship fully.
- Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pregnant old ladies and other signs that God’s story is better than the one we tell ourselves

Canticle:
Seeking God’s Liberation and Deliverance
This worship resource is based on Luke 1:57-80, the great prayer of faith and hope that bursts forth from Zechariah when he is freed from silence at the naming of his son. It combines the hymn Blessed Be the God of Israel by Carl P. Daw, Jr. with original prayers by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia. Suggested tunes for the hymn are KINGSFOLD or FOREST GREEN. This prayer is especially powerful when sung with only the accompaniment of a hand drum such as a djembe.

ONE OR ALL SINGING:
Blest be the God of Israel who comes to set us free
and raises up new hope for us: a Branch from David’s tree.
So have the prophets long declared that with a mighty arm
God would turn back our enemies and all who wish us harm.

ONE VOICE:
Save us and all people from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Guide our feet into the way of peace.

ALL SPEAKING:
Liberate us and all people from political oppression and corruption,
so all may worship you and serve you without fear.

ONE OR ALL SINGING:
With promised mercy will God still the covenant recall:
The oath once sworn to Abraham, from foes to save us all;
That we might worship without fear and offer lives of praise,
In holiness and righteousness before God all our days.

ONE VOICE:
Rescue us and all people from ignorance and false teaching,
that we may be transformed by the knowledge of salvation.

ALL SPEAKING:
You show great mercy and forgiveness to every person.
Release us from slavery to sin and death.

ONE OR ALL SINGING:
My child, as prophet of the Lord, you will prepare the way,
to tell God’s people they are saved from sin’s eternal sway.
Then shall God’s mercy from on high shine forth and never cease
to drive away the gloom of death and lead us into peace.

ONE VOICE:
Free us and all people from addiction and destructive dependence,
that we would embrace light rather than darkness.

ALL SPEAKING:
Deliver us and all people from despair and discouragement.
Help us walk through the shadows rather than making our home there.

ALL SINGING:
Blest be the God of Israel who comes to set us free
and raises up new hope for us: a Branch from David’s tree.
So have the prophets long declared that with a mighty arm
God would turn back our enemies and all who wish us harm.

****************
For information on The Story of Christmas Reading Plan, click here

Blessed Be the God of Israel text © 1989 Hope Publishing Co.

Prayers and compilation © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

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