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Advent prayers for Syria and Yemen

God of Advent,
We wait for a message to the world,
and a message has come.
Not a message of hope but of horror.
We wait for you to come soon,
before Herod has his way this time.
 
Guard, protect and heal
all who are suffering in Syria. 
Interrupt, thwart and heal
all who wage war in Yemen.
 
This Advent we wait:
agitating for another way
for peaceful intervention 
for aid to have access
for refugee policy to change 
for compassion to light the way
for all to have safe place to call home.
 
God in your mercy, hear our prayer,
Amen.

Lord Jesus,
Is it too soon for nativity plays
to include the slaughter of the innocent?
The end of the seasonal story, 
often ignored,
screams at us now from silent screens.
And while the tinsel is hung, 
and fairy lights blink
Christmas seems hollow tonight.
 
We pray for those in Syria and Yemen
witnessing an inhumanity 
no one should have to see,
enduring suffering 
no one should have to bear,
heartbroken by a despair 
no one should have to know. 
 
Give them strength beyond themselves. 
Hold them in the way only you can.
Comfort them as the Prince of Peace. 
And give us ears to hear,
hearts to care,
and the tenacity to light the way.
Lord have mercy, 
Amen. 

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