There’s an ancient little prayer—maybe as old as the fourth or fifth century—that some Christians insert into the Lord’s Prayer right before the doxology. There are many variations and translations, as you’d expect for such an ancient text, but one, in particular, strikes me as a perfect Advent prayer. It ends like this: “…as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
When we’re waiting for something big, something important—like the answer to a life-changing question or prayer—do we wait anxiously, or do we wait in joyful hope? What do we do while we wait? That ancient little prayer I mentioned earlier asks God to grant us peace as we wait in joyful hope. That’s what I pray for you and for all of us this Advent: peace and joy and hope.
This message is an excerpt from “Waiting in joyful hope” by Audrey Novak Riley in the December 2019 issue of Gather magazine. On this second Sunday of Advent, we remember Nicholas, bishop of Myra, who died around 342.